Patriots 'Deflate-Gate' Scandal Expanding

ESPN:11 of 12 Patriots' game balls underinflated, according to NFL sources.
8:53 | 01/21/15

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Transcript for Patriots 'Deflate-Gate' Scandal Expanding
And developing now the New England Patriots football deflation scandal. Deepening the so called deeply gate NFL sources revealing to ESPN's Chris mortenson that the patriots. Under inflated eleven a twelve game balls that were used in the blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. And while the NFL officially has no comment the investigation clearly taking off for the latest want to bring an ABC news is Aron winter ski. Aaron high do we know how or when the football's. We're deflated it's understood that these game balls are inspected and approved before the game began. Two and a half hours before the game begins Michelle and after that. They are locked up in a rep for re is rumor at least they're supposed to be. And our partners at ESPN reporting that the referees have certified to be NFL that they did in fact inspect the patriots game balls. Now there are a number of football's used in a game. Twelve for the for the home team. Twelve that the visitors team provides an and the home team has twelve extras and all of them are inspected and then they are kept in the referee's room. On accessible to anybody else they're not supposed to be anyway the only time they brought out onto the field is ten minutes before kick off. That's when they're given to the ball boys so seemingly if there was any tampering or deflating. There would be a very should short window in which to do it. But remember the NFL has not even said that this occurred that it was nefarious tampering. We're still waiting for the NFL's official word. But our partners and ESPN do report that eleven of the twelve patriots balls where but not properly inflated to standard. What we usually happen Michelle if the rectory upon inspection found that the of the the balls were not properly inflated. They would they went at air or take here away. To get them to where they're supposed to be twelve and a half to thirteen and half pounds per square inch about 1415 ounces in weight. And and the referees have had apparently certified to be NFL that everything was on the up and up the balls were marked as inspected. And they should have been. Good ago. Are right now how the NFL tipped off that these footballs were under inflated. Well that there had been some reports from the and in Indianapolis Star and from our our affiliate WCVB. That it was one of the Indianapolis Colts players a linebacker who had intercepted a Tom Brady pass Hugh let one of his coaches know. That the ball see at a little bit under inflated to him. And that's who first brought it to be attention. Of the sidelines and then from there. Came to the attention of the referees and we know that there was a substitution of the ball. Leader in the game but according to former ref Rees that we spoke into. The balls may have been inspected again at halftime so things again should be on the up and up. And if there was any bit of tampering with the air. There would not have been a whole lot of time to deal with so the question is assuming it was done. Who did it. And of the patriots even know it was being done right now we can't say. And of course as you mentioned once those game balls are inspected they go to relieve the game boy in their kept in a bag on the sidelines so how. Is this investigation going to move forward with the Super Bowl less than two weeks away now on the patriots. Well. It should be nearing its end because it's had you know it's it's had a couple of days now an attempt to progress and presumably the NFL started with the the officials to figure out if in fact they did the inspections that they're supposed to do. In and if they noticed anything untoward don't forget. A refereed handles the ball after every play to properly place it at the spot for the next play. Now a former officials say that you don't really handle and a whole lot kind of minimal handling it may not notice it if it feels under inflated. And so that may be why did there was no immediate recognition by the officials. So the NFL's gonna want to drill down into that. And then ultimately if there is something found who have been you know untoward here if there was cheating let's call it what it is. Then that the rule book says that the the offending individual could be fine 25000 dollars but there may be. More penalties in addition to that if you listen to the bloggers and Twitter intuitive everybody good here deals in this football universe Michelle. They're calling for bill Belichick's head shouldn't be allowed to coach in the Super Bowl should be fired come down hard on the patriots. A fitting end perhaps to noted that the rather tumultuous year that the NFL has had with some of its non gaming issues. All right ABC news is there deters ski thanks for joining us. And for more on this developing story I wanna bring an ESPN NFL reporter field gates high field. Give us an idea there is any word from the NFL sources on the league's reaction to this scandal and explain the difference. That the the deflation can make during a game. Both certainly disappointments on the league's behalf in finding that eleven of the twelve footballs for the patriots were deflated. That's possibly the NFL wants to have especially not in a public forum. Terms of the advantage that it provide provide for the patriots. It softer football allows for a quarterback to have a stronger grip in the same goes for running backs carrying the football. And receivers catching the football that you would think that if the balls are under inflated. But they offense will be able to operate more efficiently. I think there are two issues with this specific instance one is that. Compromising the integrity of the game and then two whether or not the under inflatable balls made a big difference to a specific game. The answer to the latter part is certainly the patriots won by 38 points and it probably would've won. The matter how the football were pumped but nonetheless the NFL's taking this matter very seriously and does this controversy field put a black cloud. Over the patriots and of course the backlash against Bill Belichick as they get ready to head the super ball. Given the patriots prior history including the 2007. Spy gate scandal in. Which the NFL bound them to be videotaping signals from opposing team's sidelines I think they're always going to be people who. The moment something surrounds the patriots comes about are going to look at them in a certain light so we can't necessarily entirely separate is incident. From what that featured able to accomplish on the field that being said I think football purist respect that backed the patriots have. One at least ten regular season games in twelve of the past thirteen seasons and they have a chance to win their fourth Super Bowl since 2001. Next Sunday when he take on the Seattle Seahawks in Arizona so. While there is certainly going to be some people are going to consider what has happened with the patriots off the field and not related to the course of game play at the same time. What they've been able to achieve on the field certainly does speak for itself. All right so give us an idea we've heard about this investigation that still ongoing how will the NFL handle it especially if there might be other allegations. Sheen from the past and also in regular season. I think there're couple of factors in play here the first is what the nature of the punishment will be mentioned earlier the possibility of a fine. It begins at 25000. Dollars but the fine from the league. To eighteen can certainly exceed that 25000. Dollar market and there although also the possibility of docking the patriots of eight draft pick that's something that happened to them. During that app for mention 2007 spy gate scandal they had their first round pick in this subsequent draft remove from them. My sense and right now it's there early on and this is that the patriots will receive a hefty fine and perhaps be stripped of one. Maybe later round draft picked. In terms of that time frame for this it's not a giving the bill and a fellow hand down its punishment before the suitable is actually played it may behoove them to do so because it would perhaps. Steer the attention away from this controversy in towards the game which is of course the per V premier event. Each season it. That being said it's going to be diligent it's going to be patient it's going to be deliberate in terms of how it hands down its punishment to the patriots when that time comes. All right ESPN's field Yates thinks again for joining us and giving us an update. On that story and of course you can keep up with this developing story in real time. I downloading the ABC news app and starring the story for exclusive updates on the Gao. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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