The public weighed in with 'Deflategate' judge before ruling

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes during an NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge who lifted New England quarterback Tom Brady's four-game "Deflategate" suspension last week got plenty of advice from the public before he ruled.

In numerous letters, members of the public offered advice to U.S. District Judge Richard Berman. Some suggested ways he could assess the facts himself, including by experimenting with footballs. One, from a Nevada teacher, urged he punish Brady. But most encouraged him to set him free from his suspension. The judge put the letters in the formal case record on Wednesday.

Berman lifted Brady's suspension last week after concluding the NFL had failed to properly follow the terms of its contract with players in handling the controversy.

What the judge described as the "deflation situation" erupted after New England easily beat the Indianapolis Colts in January's AFC title game, when Brady was found using underinflated footballs.

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