The National Football League has hired a forensics firm to help with its investigation of "deflategate," or allegations that the New England Patriots intentionally lowered the air pressure in footballs they used in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Patriots handily defeated the Colts 45-7.
The league said Friday that it has brought on investigatory firm Renaissance Associates to help it review electronic and video evidence. NFL EVP Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss are leading the investigation.
Numerous reports have stated that in its preliminary examination, the league found the balls used by the Patriots were significantly more deflated than those used by the Colts. The league has said that when officials tested the balls pre-game, they were inflated to standard.
Players and former players have stated that a football is easier to throw, catch, and carry without fumbling when the air pressure is less than regulation.
"The goals of the investigation will be to determine the explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action," the league said in the statement. "We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence.
The NFL added that it will keep the public informed when it is "in a position to reach conclusions."
On Thursday, both Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady held press conferences saying they had no knowledge of their team’s footballs being intentionally deflated.