LOS ANGELES -- Betty Cantrell, named Miss America eight days ago, should be totally focused on the crown. Instead, she's still thinking about the New England Patriots.

Cantrell told The Associated Press in a recent interview that when she was asked in the pageant's question-and-answer section whether Patriots quarterback Tom Brady cheated by using deflated footballs, she thought her answer might keep her from winning the crown.

Initially, Cantrell said she wasn't sure, then she went further: "I'd have to see the ball and feel it. If there's any question, then yes, he cheated."

Later Cantrell said she wasn't sure how to answer the question and wished she had been asked about music or theater.

"You know, I tried to give an opinion based on the facts that I knew, which were very slim, and I think that the verdict came out during the week of competition that the suspension was (lifted) ... and that he was able to play again ... so I had no idea," she said.

"We really don't have our phones that week so I didn't know that had happened and I just want to leave that question up to the sports fans. ... Hopefully, the Tom Brady fans will forgive me and be OK with me again so we'll see, but I think it is blowing over."

Cantrell, who is from Georgia, won a $50,000 scholarship with her title and hopes to someday perform on Broadway.