Friday, the NFL released a statement that, in our opinion, and the view of many observers, basically said nothing.

The initial paragraphs of the statement outlined the rules pertaining to legal inflation levels for game balls,  and the second paragraph stressed their seriousness about the integrity of the game. It also mentioned the specific steps being done to look into the allegations the Patriots deliberately under-inflated footballs during their AFC title game with the Colts.  Over 40 interviews were conducted so far, and video examinations of actions on the sideline etc.

The meat and potatoes part of the statement reads as follows:

"The playing rules are intended to protect the fairness and integrity of our games. We take seriously claims that those rules have been violated and will fully investigate this matter without compromise or delay. The investigation is ongoing, will be thorough and objective, and is being pursued expeditiously. In the coming days, we expect to conduct numerous additional interviews, examine video and other forensic evidence, as well as relevant physical evidence. While the evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the game to have remained properly inflated. The goals of the investigation will be to determine the explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action. We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence. 

"Upon being advised of the investigation, the Patriots promptly pledged their full cooperation and have made their personnel and other information available to us upon request.  Our investigation will seek information from any and all relevant sources and we expect full cooperation from other clubs as well. As we develop more information and are in a position to reach conclusions, we will share them publicly."

  So basically, no real further clarity.  The story, of course, will continue to develop.

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