WATCH: Belichick Says He Had No Knowledge of Deflated Balls
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said this morning he had no idea that the footballs used by Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game were under-inflated.
"I was shocked to learn of the news reports about the footballs. I had no knowledge whatsoever of this situation until Monday morning," he said.
Belichick called it "unfortunate" that this has become a story before the Super Bowl, adding that the team is cooperating with the NFL's investigation into the matter.
Seeking to distance himself from the situation, Belichick said he has "no explanation" for how the team's balls were deflated below the NFL's allowable level.
“In my entire coaching career I have never talked to any player/staff member about football air pressure," said Belichick.
ESPN reported Tuesday night, citing anonymous sources, that the NFL found 11 of 12 footballs provided by the Patriots were not properly inflated, while balls used by the Colts on offense met league standards.
The issue has drawn strong reaction from players, league executives and other NFL personalities who are debating whether the issue affected the Pats-Colts matchup and the sport itself.
Bookmakers have even begun taking bets on whether Belichick will be suspended over the violation and whether he'll be banned from coaching in the Super Bowl.
Watch Belichick's statement above from a news conference this morning.