The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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SEPTEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 79 BY CHRIS BALAS N ew England Patriots quarterback and former Michigan signal-caller Tom Brady has decided not to take an appeal to the Supreme Court and will instead accept a four-game sus- pension issued by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Brady allegedly par- ticipated in a scheme to take air out of footballs prior to the AFC Champion- ship Game in Foxboro in January 2015 — claims he has vehemently denied — and will now miss the first four games of this NFL season. "I'm very grateful for the over- whelming support I've received from [Patriots owner] Mr. [Robert] Kraft, the Kraft family, Coach [Bill] Belich- ick, my coaches and teammates, the NFLPA, my agents, my loving family and, most of all, our fans," Brady said in a statement on his Facebook page. "It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process. I'm going to work hard to be the best player I can be for the New England Patriots, and I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this fall." Brady will be eligible to return to the team Oct. 3. The Patriots play the Cleveland Browns Oct. 9. Though many disputed the facts of the case and Brady won his first appeal, Goodell upheld his own deci- sion after serving as the arbitrator in Brady's NFL appeal hearing. Kraft expressed his frustration in a statement released to the media. "The league's investigation into a football pressure matter was flawed and biased from the start, and has been discredited nearly unanimously by accredited academics and sci- entists," he wrote. "The penalty imposed by the NFL was unprec- edented, unjust and unreasonable, especially given that no empirical or direct evidence of any kind showed Tom did anything to violate League rules prior to, during or after the 2015 AFC Championship Game. What Tom has had to endure throughout this 18-month ordeal has been, in my opinion, as far removed from due pro- cess as you could ever expect in this country. "From day one, I have believed in Tom and given him my unwavering support in his pursuit to rightfully clear his name of any wrongdoing. That support extends throughout our organization and has only grown more steadfast as the preponderance of scientific evidence has exonerated Tom. Unfortunately, this stopped be- ing about air pressure a long time ago." Kraft added that the process "has indelibly taken a toll on our orga- nization, our fans and, most impor- tantly, Tom Brady," and vowed to continue to "unequivocally support" his quarterback. Brady will miss a game at Ari- zona and home contests with Miami, Houston and Buffalo. JAKE RUDOCK STARTS STRONG IN DETROIT Detroit Lions rookie quarterback and former Michigan signal-caller Jake Rudock made the most of his one year under Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor, becoming the Detroit Lions' sixth-round pick in 2016. Now he's trying to prove he belongs on the team, and he's doing a good job of it. Rudock played 27 snaps and was 8-of-11 passing for 72 yards with a touchdown throw to Jace Billingsley   MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Tom Brady Drops Deflategate Appeal ranked Brady as the NFL's No. 2 quarterback and No. 7 overall player this preseason. PHOTO COURTESY NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

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