BREAKING NEWS: Saints May Have Eavesdropped
Fresh off the heels of the bounty scandal, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” has now learned that suspended Saints GM Mickey Loomis had an electronic device in his suite in the Superdome that had been secretly re-wired, granting him the ability to eavesdrop on visiting coaches for nearly three seasons.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana was told Friday of the allegations, and sources have said the FBI in New Orleans has been briefed on Loomis’ alleged activities. If these allegations turn out to be true, Loomis not only face NFL punishment, but possible federal charges. The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 prohibits any person from intercepting communications from another person using an electronic or mechanical device.
We are all well aware of the Spygate incident from 2007, when the Patriots were accused of videotaping the play-calling of opposing coaches during games and making halftime adjustments. Former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter even called on the U.S. Government to launch a full scale investigation into the Patriots’ activities. Based on this new story regarding Loomis, Spygate seems like nothing more than a hiccup.
If these allegations turn out to be true, the repercussions for the Saints, and in particular Loomis, could turn out to be catastrophic. For a team, and a city, that has overcome so much, this latest news is another shocking blow, and the long-term fallout from this remains to be seen.