The Wells Report, which claimed it was probable than not that the New England Patriots intentionally used under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game, was released Wednesday and included scientific experiments and simulations, including work done by a consulting firm and others.
“Scientific consultants were engaged to assist the investigative team,” the report states on Page 110. “These consultants included a team from Exponent, one of the leading scientific and engineering consulting firms in the country, and Dr. Daniel R. Marlow, a tenured professor of Physics at Princeton University and former Chairman of the Physics Department.
“Among other things, we asked our expert consultants to evaluate the data collected on the day of the AFC Championship Game and consider whether it provided a basis to reach any conclusions about the likelihood that the Patriots had or had not tampered with the game balls.”
One of the report’s key findings was how long it would take someone to change the air pressure in footballs. That’s important because Jim McNally, the officials locker room attendant for the Patriots, was seen on video taking a bag of game balls into a bathroom at Gillette Stadium for about 1 minute and 40 seconds before heading to the field.
The finding from Exponent concluded that 1:40 is enough time to alter multiple footballs.
The firm also ran tests that simulated the same weather conditions present during the AFC title game and tried to determine if the same level of air pressure could be lost.
“Based on these experiments, Exponent concluded that the average pressures recorded for the Patriots game balls during halftime of the AFC Championship Game were lower than the lowest average pressures attained by the simulations,” the report states. “In other words, when tests were run using the most likely game-day conditions and circumstances, the Patriots halftime measurements could not be replicated, and the pressures observed for the Patriots footballs by Exponent during its experiments were all higher.”
The link below includes the full report, where you can read about all of the scientific experiments and conclusions from Exponent.
Thumbnail photo via Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
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