When the New England Patriots found themselves in the middle of a league investigation into their Spygate scandal in the 2007 season, team executive Scott Pioli found himself right in the middle of everything.
Pioli was interviewed by the league and the result of interviews by him and Bill Belichick led to the NFL handing down what was the most stringent punishment in league history at the time.
With the latest Patriots scandal drawing similarities to Spygate, Pioli’s familiarity with such investigation gives him a little more insight into the whole situation. The former NFL executive was a guest on ESPN Radio’s “Spain and Company” program on Wednesday night and offered his thought on the Patriots’ videotaping allegations.
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The League’s Investigation Needs to Be Quick and Thorough
The main theme Pioli pointed to during his interview was that the league needs to be thorough in their investigation but also must wrap it up quickly to end the sea of speculation surrounding the issue. The Patriots have not been among the most popular teams across the league given their recent success and share of cheating allegations.
Here’s what Pioli had to offer on the situation, as transcribed by ESPN’s Mike Reiss:
“This is one of those things, I hope the investigation is quick and thorough. It needs to be open and shut. Find out what the truth is. Right not, all of us are speculating. People that are on the Patriots’ side and people that are against the Patriots, where I think the majority is regardless of what they do.
My personal feeling is I really doubt this is as nefarious as it appears because here’s what I know: I can’t believe that anyone would be this dumb, quite honestly, to do it in the setting that it was done and for it to be something nefarious.”
Let the Truth Be Told
The tape from the Patriots production team, as well as video that was taken of the incident by the Bengals, have both yet to be released to the public. With little fact actually disclosed to the public, it is difficult for any speculation to be viewed as legitimate, according to Pioli.
He also notes there are several more employees with teams now on the digital side of things that might not be akin to all the rules and regulations the NFL imposes. Pioli also expanded upon these two thoughts:
“I’ve also been with enough teams to know that very often, people are new in media, there’s so many employees now. You look at every team’s social media group and the production teams, there’s a lot of inexperienced people doing jobs that this could very well be an honest mistake.
I think what we need to do is just let’s wait until we get all the facts. None of us have seen this, people are going to see this, if and when the tape becomes public, they’re going to have an opinion. But I think we just need to get the truth. I think too often, in too many ways, all of us, myself included, are too quick to rush to judgment of guilty or innocent. Let’s let some of the truth come out here.”