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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says Tom Brady’s suspension stands

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In the end, it wasn’t just that someone tinkered with the footballs. It was that the same someone destroyed his new cell phone.

Linking one with the other, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady on Tuesday. The question is how severely, if at all, will the cheating allegation affect the legacy of Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion.

Investigator Ted Wells found enough evidence that Brady had indeed affected the footballs, and his lack of cooperation in the league’s probe evidently contributed toward Brady’s monthlong suspension. For one thing, Brady refused to allow his cell phone to be used as evidence.

Wells said in his report that Brady did not necessarily handle the footballs himself but was at least “generally aware of it.” On Tuesday, Goodell said that Brady had destroyed his four-month- old cell phone. That went beyond not cooperating but sought to hide evidence.

The NFLPA has vowed to fight the suspension, which is the same suspension that Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy received for domestic violence. (Hardy’s punishment was reduced from 10 games.)

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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