Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A federal judge has overturned Tom Brady’s four-game suspension ordered by the NFL.
The decision that will allow the New England Patriots quarterback to play in the team's season opener on Sept. 10 came down Thursday morning after weeks of unsuccessful negotiating.
In a 40-page ruling, Judge Richard Berman wrote that the league gave Brady "inadequate notice" of both the potential suspension and the misconduct he was accused of, that Brady was not afforded the chance to examine one of the league's lead investigtors, and that he was denied equal access to investigative files.
"The Court finds that Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and non-cooperation with the ensuing investigation," Berman wrote. "Brady also had no notice that his discipline would be the equivalent of the discipline imposed upon a player who used performance enhancing drugs."
Berman did not, however, agree with Brady's claims that Goodell was "evidently partial," that the evidence of ball deflation used to suspend him was not present in the report compiled by Wells, or that Goodell was "locked into" supporting the Wells report based on prior praise regarding the report's reliability.
Brady had been fighting the four-game suspension that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered over the "Deflategate" accusation that stemmed from the last year's playoffs.
Brady's suspension was first handed down in May, along with a fine levied against the New England Patriots. The suspension was then upheld by the NFL in July. The punishment revolves around the deflation of footballs used during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18. The Patriots won that game 45-7, then went on to win the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 against the Seattle Seahawks.
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