When Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass with 26 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX the NFL suddenly found itself in a precarious position.

If the NFL investigation reveals that the game balls used in the AFC Championship game had been tampered with (deflated) does the league come out with a statement that New England violated the rules?

The word “violated” will become a synonym for cheating. With all the problems the NFL has had during the past year the last thing the league and all the owners need is to have the current world champion Patriots depicted as cheaters.

Will the league be open and honest with the public at large, or will it have a legion of lawyers create a “spin” that will move the spotlight from a rule infraction to perhaps a huge oversight on the Patriots part?

Ed Gilligan

Marsh Hawk Lane

Kiawah Island