WASHINGTON – Sen. Arlen Specter said he won't call for congressional hearings on the NFL's investigation of the Spygate scandal after previously threatening to do so.
Specter's office confirmed Tuesday his comments a day earlier to the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board. Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, had written in a Senate floor statement earlier this month that "I believe the NFL should step forward and embrace an independent inquiry."
"If the NFL continues to leave a vacuum," he added, "Congress may be tempted to fill it."
No independent inquiry has been announced; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated that he considers the investigation closed. But Specter said no hearings were forthcoming.
"I haven't pulled back. There's not much more I can do at this point," the senator said Monday, according to his office. "We've exposed a lot. ... But the public attention span is so limited. I'm not going to call for hearings because the mood is not right and we've got too many other bigger problems to deal with."
Specter did raise the issue of whether the NFL and other leagues, the beneficiaries of antitrust exemptions, should receive public funding for building stadiums. And he told the editorial board that he wasn't interested in former NBA referee Tim Donaghy's claims that playoff games were rigged.