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More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

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  • More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

    Looks like the Aints are back.. Gesh I never thought it could get worse for them until now and if I were Brees I would try my hardest to get out of town.

    ESPN Outside The Lines reports that New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had an electronic device set up in the Superdome that gave him the ability to eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs for three seasons.

    According to the report, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisiana was informed of the allegations against the Saints general manager late last week. It is believed that Loomis had the ability to listen to private conversations of the opposing team’s coaching staff for most of the 2002 season, and all of the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
    According to ESPN, such actions could not only violate NFL rules, but also federal communications laws.

    Loomis was recently suspended by the NFL for eight games for his part in a bounty system established by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Under the system, defensive players were financially rewarded for injuring opponents. As a result of the scandal, Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended for an entire season, and Williams was suspended indefinitely.http://tracking.si.com/2012/04/23/re...2_a2&eref=sihp

    NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana was told Friday that New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite that had been secretly re-wired to enable him to eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs for nearly three NFL seasons, "Outside the Lines" has learned.




    Sources familiar with Saints game-day operations told "Outside the Lines" that Loomis, who faces an eight-game suspension from the NFL for his role in the recent bounty scandal, had the ability to secretly listen for most of the 2002 season, his first as general manager of the Saints, and all of the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The sources spoke with "Outside the Lines" under the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals from members of the Saints organization.

    Jim Letten, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, acknowledged being told of the allegations Friday. Sources said he has briefed the FBI in New Orleans about Loomis' alleged activity. If proven, the allegations could be both a violation of NFL rules and potentially a federal crime, according to legal sources. The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 prohibits any person from intercepting communications from another person using an electronic or mechanical device.


    "I can say that we were just made aware of that on Friday, at least of these allegations," Letten said. "Anything beyond that I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to comment."

    Greg Bensel, Saints vice president of communications, said Monday afternoon on behalf of the Saints and Loomis: "This is 1,000 percent false. This is 1,000 percent inaccurate."
    NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was unaware of the allegations.

    Sources told "Outside the Lines" the listening device was first installed in the general manager's suite in 2000, when Loomis' predecessor, Randy Mueller, served as Saints GM. At that time, according to sources, Mueller only had the ability to use the device to monitor the game-day communications of the Saints coaching staff, not the opposing coaches. Mueller, now a senior executive with the San Diego Chargers (he also was an ESPN.com NFL analyst from 2002-05), declined to comment when contacted by "Outside the Lines."

    After the transition from Mueller to Loomis, the electronic device was re-wired to listen only to opposing coaches and could no longer be used to listen to any game-day communications between members of the Saints coaching staff, one source said.


    "There was a switch, and the switch accessed offense and defense," said the source. "When Randy was there, it was the Saints offense or defense, and when Mickey was there it changed over so it was the visiting offense or defense," the source said.

    "Outside the Lines" could not determine for certain whether Loomis ever made use of the electronic setup.
    The sources said when Loomis took his seat during home games, then in the front row of box No. 4 in the 300 level of the Superdome's north side, he was able to plug an earpiece into a jack that was under the desk in front of him. The earpiece was not unlike those used to listen to inexpensive transistor radios, the sources said. With the earpiece in place, Loomis could then toggle back and forth with a switch that he controlled, enabling him to listen to either the game-day communications of the opposing offensive or defensive coaches.


    Also underneath the desk in front of Loomis, said the sources, was a metal box that contained two belt packs similar to those worn around the waists of NFL head coaches during games. The packs powered the listening device available to Loomis, which was, according to sources, hard-wired to the audio feed of the opposing coaches.


    The Saints are facing new allegations that they used electronic surveillance devices to listen to opposing coaches. If true, is this worse than the bounty scandal?




    The wiring setup was disabled sometime in September 2005 in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. The timing of the device's removal could prove significant for legal reasons. If Loomis used an electronic device to secretly listen to the opposing coaches without their consent, it would appear to be a violation of the federal ECPA statute, said Mike Emmick, a Los Angeles-based attorney.
    Emmick worked for 25 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, serving for eight years as chief of the public corruption and government fraud section.

    "The ECPA bars any person from intentionally intercepting wire, oral or electronic communications by using an electronic or mechanical device," Emmick said. "The ECPA doesn't make it illegal just to eavesdrop. You have to have used a device ... Intentional interception by using the device is the key."

    But the statute of limitations, the window federal prosecutors have to pursue any criminal charges against Loomis or the Saints, would only extend for five years after the date of such an offense, Emmick said.

    If Loomis no longer had the ability to eavesdrop on opposing coaches after the 2004 season, he would be free from any potential criminal prosecution for a violation of the ECPA, Emmick said.

    Loomis' alleged activity also would be a violation of Louisiana state law, according to Danny Onorato, a former assistant U.S. attorney now in private practice in Washington, D.C., where he specializes in white-collar crime. The statute of limitations for the law governing electronic eavesdropping in Louisiana is six years, Onorato said.

    "A prosecutor or law enforcement should conduct a thorough investigation to make sure these are the facts. Did these individuals re-connect this device in some way?" Onorato said.

    "At a minimum, somebody somewhere has a duty to investigate it to ensure the integrity of the game of football," he said.

    Emmick said that it's possible Loomis and others could still be prosecuted for taking part in a conspiracy to cover up the federal ECPA violation. The statute of limitations for prosecution of a conspiracy is also five years, Emmick said, but that period would begin with the last "overt act" of the parties involved in a conspiracy.

    In this case, any attempt to cover up the ECPA violation that extended into 2007 could constitute such an overt act and fall within the window of the statute of limitations, Emmick said.

    Emmick and Onorato both said that any prosecution on the basis of a conspiracy to cover up an ECPA violation is unlikely. But there is another potentially far more costly aspect to Loomis' alleged behavior, according to Emmick and other legal sources contacted by ESPN.

    "There's the potential for a lot of lawsuits filed by whoever was victimized by the electronic eavesdropping," Emmick said.

    Under the civil laws that govern electronic eavesdropping, the victims of the eavesdropping would have two years from the time they had a "reasonable opportunity to discover the violation" in order to file lawsuits, Emmick said.

    In other words, if an opposing team or individuals who were eavesdropped upon wanted to sue Loomis or the Saints, the clock would start ticking on their time frame to file a lawsuit when they discovered the alleged ECPA violation, not when the violation actually occurred.

    Under Article No. 9 of the Constitution and Bylaws of the NFL, which lists "Prohibited Conduct," the league specifically bans the use of "...videotape machines, telephone tapping or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic device that might aid a team during the playing of a game."


    "That would be a stupendous advantage if you had that," said Rick Venturi, who was the team's defensive coordinator during the period the sources said Loomis could eavesdrop on opposing coaches.

    "That's shocking," Venturi said, when told of the allegations. "I can tell you if we did it, nobody told me about it. ... Nobody ever helped me during a game."

    Venturi served in various capacities during a decade-long period with the Saints coaching staff, including a brief stint as interim head coach, and now hosts a radio program on an ESPN Radio affiliate in St. Louis.

    Attempts to reach former Saints head coach Jim Haslett were not successful. Haslett served as the Saints head coach from 2000-05 and is now defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. Sean Payton was named head coach of the Saints in 2006.

    Rick Mueller, the brother of former Saints general manager Randy Mueller, was in the Saints front office from 2000-08 and was a regular in Loomis' booth during Saints home games.
    "I sat right next to him most of the time," said Mueller, who now serves as a player personnel executive with the Philadelphia Eagles. Mueller said he vaguely recalled Loomis using an earpiece during games but he could not recall whether Loomis ever did so during the period in which sources allege Loomis had the ability to eavesdrop on opponents.

    During Saints home games, Loomis typically sat in a seat next to the glass separating the Saints front office personnel from the Saints assistant coaches. When asked whether Loomis in any way signaled those Saints assistants on the other side of the glass during games, Mueller replied: "I didn't get any indication of that. ... There's no communication going on between Mickey and the coaches during a game I can tell you that. ... If it was just Mickey hearing it, I would see no way he could signal our coaches next door."

    In 2002, the Saints compiled a 9-7 record. The team had an 8-8 record during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In those three seasons combined, the Saints were 12-12 in the Superdome.
    The 2005 season remains the infamous one that the Saints never played a home game in the Superdome due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. According to sources, that was also the first time Loomis would not have had the ability to listen in on the play calls of opposing teams. That year the Saints finished 3-13.


    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has an established a track record of issuing severe penalties when teams attempt to skirt those rules.

    When it was discovered that the New England Patriots videotaped the New York Jets coaches' signals during a September 2007 game -- the so-called "Spygate" episode -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 by the NFL, the maximum amount permitted under league rules.
    The Patriots were also fined $250,000 by the NFL, and the team was forced to give up its first-round pick in 2008.
    "This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field," Goodell wrote at the time in a letter to the Patriots.http://tracking.si.com/2012/04/23/re...2_a2&eref=sihp
    Last edited by Gamble1; 04-23-2012, 04:55 PM.

  • #2
    Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

    This to me is worse than Spygate, though not as bad as bounty gate. Really hard to say how Loomis/Saints organization should be punished. My guess is a mil and a first in the draft. This franchise is just looking for ways to get kicked out the league.


    Carmel HS Class of 2011

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    • #3
      Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

      fk da aints


      @Coupe460

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      • #4
        Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

        Wow... I never really thought about how easy that would be to do but anyone that has used Clearcoms knows it would be very simple if the com system had to feed into a box above for coaches. Assuming it's hard-wired from the field to the box you just intercept the feed and split it to another point for a beltpack (or an installed version of a beltpack).

        Unless the communications are scrambled this would be so simple to do that it makes you wonder who else has this capability?

        Com communications on the field could be contained on the field/sidelines.... but once you connect to that jack feeding the coaches' box upstairs you're at the mercy of the installers that the wire(s) feeds ONLY to where you want it to go.

        If the coms aren't scrambled then this isn't James Bond stuff... this is like connecting a 2nd phone in your home and picking it up and listening when someone is already on the main phone. The only difference is the 'spy' connection wouldn't have a mic just an earpiece so no danger of being overheard and noticed.
        Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.

        ------

        "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

        -John Wooden

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        • #5
          Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

          Bill Parcells last good call in the NFL? Avoiding the Saints.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

            BAN THEM FROM THE NFL DEATH PENALTY MUCH DESERVED CAN'T TOLERATE THIS NO

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

              Wow...the Saints are starting to make me respect the Patriots, at least by comparison.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                Kind of ironic that the two "feel good" franchises (New England and New Orleans) are both involved in spying scandals.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                  Lifetime ban for Loomis. That is the minimum acceptable punishment.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                    Originally posted by travmil View Post
                    Wow...the Saints are starting to make me respect the Patriots, at least by comparison.
                    Easy there Cletus!
                    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
                    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetimeís worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                      Originally posted by Bball View Post
                      Wow... I never really thought about how easy that would be to do but anyone that has used Clearcoms knows it would be very simple if the com system had to feed into a box above for coaches. Assuming it's hard-wired from the field to the box you just intercept the feed and split it to another point for a beltpack (or an installed version of a beltpack).

                      Unless the communications are scrambled this would be so simple to do that it makes you wonder who else has this capability?

                      Com communications on the field could be contained on the field/sidelines.... but once you connect to that jack feeding the coaches' box upstairs you're at the mercy of the installers that the wire(s) feeds ONLY to where you want it to go.

                      If the coms aren't scrambled then this isn't James Bond stuff... this is like connecting a 2nd phone in your home and picking it up and listening when someone is already on the main phone. The only difference is the 'spy' connection wouldn't have a mic just an earpiece so no danger of being overheard and noticed.
                      I believe after spygate they addressed this but I could be wrong.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                        Wow. This crap is getting ridiculous. I think the owners need to get together and draft much tougher penalties for higher level infractions like these. They need to impose monetary finds that would basically wipe out the salaries of those involved, plus permanent bans for ringleaders.

                        You wipe out salaries and coaching staffs will be much better at self-policing these type of problems.

                        As far as team penalties go, I would reduce their salary caps by about 10 percent for the following two seasons, as well as remove their First round draft choices for two years. I would have both of these options written in as maximize penalties, as well as a heavy monetary fine.

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                        • #13
                          Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                          Jimmy Johnson has admitted when he was coaching the Dolphins his staff managed to modify the coach-QB communications system so that the signal, which is supposed to cut off before the snap of the ball, was not cut off. This theoretically allowed him to say things like "blitz from the right" or "number 81 is open!"

                          The really odd thing is that the NFL caught on to it! This was before Goodell, though, and so their only response was to recall all of the headsets and replace them with a more tamper-proof version!

                          This scandal is pretty bad, 10X worse than spygate, and even worse than the false accusation of the Patriots taping a Rams Super Bowl practice.

                          brief aside: spygate = taping defensive signals in a game; the taping of the Rams Super Bowl walkthrough allegation came out 5 months later, two days before the Super Bowl, then was fully retracted days later by the Boston Herald, who essentially said in their front page retraction after their one source recanted his story (or, more accurately, he denied telling the Herald what they insisted that he had told them) "Dear Patriots, you just suffered the most crushing loss in franchise history and spent 48 hours before the game denying our false allegations. We're sorry, our bad!"

                          Sorry for that aside, I have just heard two media people make comparisons to taping practice, something that the Patriots did not do.
                          The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                            As ESPN’s Adam Schefter also pointed out on the air, Loomis isn’t “an Xs and Os evaluator, so it would be difficult for him to get that information down to somebody in a timely fashion when that’s not the language he’s accustomed to speaking. He’s accustomed to dealing with agents, doing contracts, managing the cap, finagling the roster, not dealing with play calls and Xs and Os.”

                            so certain things do not add up. Given their institutionalized lack of journalistic integrity, ESPN may just be making stuff up.

                            http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...r-mill/page/2/
                            The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!).

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                            • #15
                              Re: More Bad news for the Saints.. Spy Gate II

                              Originally posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
                              Jimmy Johnson has admitted when he was coaching the Dolphins his staff managed to modify the coach-QB communications system so that the signal, which is supposed to cut off before the snap of the ball, was not cut off. This theoretically allowed him to say things like "blitz from the right" or "number 81 is open!"

                              The really odd thing is that the NFL caught on to it! This was before Goodell, though, and so their only response was to recall all of the headsets and replace them with a more tamper-proof version!

                              This scandal is pretty bad, 10X worse than spygate, and even worse than the false accusation of the Patriots taping a Rams Super Bowl practice.

                              brief aside: spygate = taping defensive signals in a game; the taping of the Rams Super Bowl walkthrough allegation came out 5 months later, two days before the Super Bowl, then was fully retracted days later by the Boston Herald, who essentially said in their front page retraction after their one source recanted his story (or, more accurately, he denied telling the Herald what they insisted that he had told them) "Dear Patriots, you just suffered the most crushing loss in franchise history and spent 48 hours before the game denying our false allegations. We're sorry, our bad!"

                              Sorry for that aside, I have just heard two media people make comparisons to taping practice, something that the Patriots did not do.
                              I am sorry slick but I still think the pats cheated. Don't take it personal but the way league handle it makes me think there was more there than what they lead on to. Of course I am bias but so are you... lol.

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