On Wednesday, The Detroit News released a story detailing the 1996 arrest and indictment of Lions head coach Matt Patricia, stemming from accusations of sexual assault during a spring break trip to South Padre Island in Texas.
"For 14 years in our organization, Matt conducted himself with great integrity and is known to be an outstanding coach, person and family man", Belichick said in a statement. On this episode of "Current Sports with Al Martin", Al discusses the breaking news surrounding Matt Patricia, the new head coach of the Detroit Lions. "In discussions today with Lions management, the [Detroit News] reporter involved acknowledged that the allegations have not been substantiated". He rose through the ranks quickly and became the team's defensive coordinator in 2012. "There were claims made about me that never happened".
The Lions job is Patricia's first as a head coach. "Based upon everything we have learned, we believe and have accepted Coach Patricia's explanation and we will continue to support him", the joint statement said. "It never came up as anything because it was dismissed and I was innocent".
After The Detroit News reported on Wednesday night that Patricia was indicted by a grand jury on one count of aggravated sexual assault in 1996, but was neither tried nor convicted, Belichick came to Patricia's defenses.
The Lions organization said the incident did not show up in their standard background check, when Patricia was hired to replace Jim Caldwell earlier this year, but they're standing behind their hiring decision just the same.
Patricia brought up his family during his presser, stating that his parents "taught me to know the difference between right and wrong" and that he had two older sisters who taught him "respect and love".
Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford, general manager Bob Quinn and president Rod Wood were at Thursday's news conference but did not speak.
Patricia followed up by saying "I am innocent". The Lions are in Phase II of their offseason training program, and the team will hold a rookie minicamp in Allen Park this weekend.
"In these times, we need to be even more sensitive and responsible in dealing with this issues and separate right from wrong".