It began last night. And it continues.
Member after member of PFT Planet has sent in a link to a still frame from Sunday’s Jets-Patriots game, featuring the presence of a credentialed member of the Jets staff holding a television camera and pointing it at across the field, presumably at the Patriots sideline.
The image, appearing on the screen for only an instant at the start of the second quarter over the shoulder of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, seems to reflect a clear violation of league rules. (And the photo in the link hasn’t been altered; we’ve confirmed the presence of the camera via the game broadcast.)
Specifically, the NFL Game Operations Manual states that “no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game,” and that “all video shooting locations must be enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead.”
We’ve asked both the Jets and the league office for comment, based on the images that appear in plain sight during the CBS broadcast of the game.
The development comes little more than four years after the original Spygate scandal, which came to light as a result of the presence of a video camera on the Patriots sideline when the Jets hosted New England in Week One of the regular season.
UPDATE 10:02 a.m. ET: The Jets have explained the presence of the man with the camera. Under certain circumstances, the practice is permitted. But it’s amazing that NFL coaches are fine with team employees shooting video and then relying on the honor system to ensure that the video won’t be used for any improper purpose.