The parade of legal briefs in support of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady continues.
The eight-page submission echoes the notion that Commissioner Roger Goodell exceeded the authority provided to him under the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players and transmogrified an appellate hearing into a trial from scratch, improperly considering new evidence and finding new violations. This is the essence, the professors argue, of an arbitrator “dispensing his own brand of industrial justice” instead of respecting the limits to his powers and basic principles of fairness.
The brief points out, among other things, that Goodell linked on a knee-jerk basis Brady’s alleged involvement in the deflation of footballs to PED use without regard to the fact that the PED policy was specific negotiated, detail by detail. In turn, Goodell completely ignored the rules regarding equipment violations, which seem to be more relevant given the inclusion of Stickum, a substance that improves grip, on the list of specific ways to violate the prohibition. Since Stickum and other equipment violations call for a fine and not a suspension, the argument continues to be that Brady simply should have been fined, at worst.
The ongoing stream of legal briefs is likely becoming difficult for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to ignore when considering Brady’s Hail Mary attempt to secure a rehearing of his case. It’s hard not to wonder whether those briefs would have been more useful to the process if they’d been submitted before the original three-judge panel resolved the case in the league’s favor through a 2-1 vote.