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Specter wants to probe public stadium financing

Sen. Arlen Specter said he won't bother to ask Congress to pursue the NFL's "Spygate" scandal and plans to look into another sports-related issue: public financing of stadiums.

Specter, R-Pa., told the Daily News editorial board yesterday that "I've gone as far as I can," concerning allegations that the New England Patriots had taped opposing teams' defensive signals. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000, the team $250,000 and took away a first-round draft choice. Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has criticized Goodell's investigation and said he would like the league to conduct a more independent investigaton, much like Major League Baseball did with alleged steroid use by some players.

Specter said he didn't call the matter before the Judiciary Committee because it already has "too much to do." And he said he's "not interested" in recent allegations made by former NBA referee Tim Donaghy that the league asked some refs to manipulate games to boost ratings or ticket sales.

Meanwhile, Specter said taxpayers should not have to foot any of the bill for stadium construction for NFL owners, who enjoy an antitrust exemption. *

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