Earlier this week, one of the NFL's lead investigators into the "Deflategate" controversy said the league's probe could take weeks to complete. That timeline appears to make sense, based on a report by the New York Times that details an assistance request made by an investigator to the Columbia University physics department.
A partner in the law firm spearheading the NFL's investigation asked the university for help in understanding how weather and temperature could affect air pressure in footballs, the report said.
Lorin L. Reisner called the university Monday, according to notes taken by an administrative manager in the physics department. The notes stated that Reisner wanted to "consult with a physicist on matters relating to gas physics," the newspaper reported.
Reisner also followed up his call with an email to the department further detailing his request: "We represent the NFL in connection with the investigation into the footballs used during the AFC championship game and would like to discuss engaging a professor of physics to consult on matters relating to gas physics and environmental impacts on inflated footballs. Please let me know whether there is a Columbia professor who may be interested in and appropriate for this assignment."
Jeff Pash, the NFL's lead counsel, and Ted Wells of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison are handling the league's investigation into whether the New England Patriots used underinflated balls during their win over the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18.
Last week, Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, said the league's investigative team would be done in "two or three days." But on Monday, Wells said he expected "the investigation to take at least several more weeks."
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said Saturday that an internal simulation conducted the team found climatic conditions could have caused balls to lose as much as 1.5 pounds per square inch of air pressure.