The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Run with it

The NFL needs to take cheating more seriously

The end of an era has arrived. Bill Belichick, the now-former coach of the New England Patriots, announced in January that he was leaving his team after 24 seasons of service.

It’s no secret that the Patriots haven’t been doing too well lately. This season, in fact, was their worst during Belichick’s time as head coach, with a record of 4-13.

So it’s not surprising that when Belichick was approached by Patriots owner Robert Kraft, their conversation ended with, as Kraft puts it, a mutual agreement by the two to “part ways amicably.”

But what is surprising is why Belichick was only let go now.

Although he has had huge amounts of success in his career, such as leading the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles, Belichick might be just as well known for his cheating habits.

In 2007, Belichick caused his most expensive scandal, SpyGate, in which the Patriots were caught videotaping the Jets’ sideline during a game. Actually, between 2000 and 2007, the Patriots videotaped other team’s coaches 40 times, according to ESPN. In 2014, he was at it again with DeflateGate, in which the Colts accused the Patriots of deflating the ball during an AFC Championship game.

Although they weren’t verified to be true, there were at least four more instances of cheating accusations against the Patriots during Belichick’s time as head coach.

But Belichick wasn’t let go for any of these instances. He was let go 17 years after SpyGate because of his team’s losing streak.

This goes to show how lightly the NFL takes cheating when they don’t need to. The integrity of the game should be held higher than reputation.

In response to SpyGate, Belichick was fined $500,000, and the Patriots were fined $250,000. Because of DeflateGate, Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of 2016, and the Patriots lost $1 million and two draft picks.

Although Belichick and his team were disciplined, the NFL should have taken time to make sure the punishments fit the crime. Belichick should have been suspended for spying on other teams, and when he was later under suspicion for cheating three more times, there should have been more thorough investigations.

All this isn’t to say that Belichick wasn’t a great coach or to undermine his success. Only that if the NFL had taken his punishments seriously, he might have been let go of a long time ago. Or maybe all of this is speculation. But I guess we’ll never know.

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About the Contributor
Ava Campbell, Sports Editor
Hi! I’m Ava, and I’m the Sports Editor for The Journal. Last year, I was a feature writer. While I definitely enjoyed my time there, I’m excited to move up in the ranks and take this new opportunity! A little bit about me: I run cross country and track for SHS, and I’ve been running since I was a little kid. Before I got into running, I did cheerleading and basketball. Aside from my athletic pursuits, I like to spend my time reading, baking and painting. I really got into acrylic painting this year, and along with baking, it’s a stress reliever for me. The main source of my stress is school, of course, but I am also a parent to two guinea pigs who, quite literally, keep me up at night. I am a lover of musicals, which naturally means my guinea pigs’ names are Hamilton and Lafayette. Pro tip: if you never want me to shut up, ask me what I think about the lyric changes between each production of Hadestown. Rants aside, I hope you find what we produce interesting. Go check it out!

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