DURHAM, N.H. — The furor over Deflategate may have subsided a bit, now that Tom Brady is back on the field. But it’s still providing weekly lessons for about 70 students at the University of New Hampshire.

Michael McCann, one of the nation’s leading sports law attorneys, is teaching a four-credit class this fall about the legal ramifications of Deflategate and other legal issues pertaining to sports.

“You see the title, ‘Deflategate,’ and you say, ‘How is that useful?’ I’d argue this class is more useful than most of their classes,” said McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at UNH and a legal analyst and writer for Sports Illustrated.

“Learning what labor law is, learning what antitrust law is, learning intellectual property laws is very useful. For a course title that doesn’t sound like it would be practical, I think the substance of the class is very practical.”

The class – an elective offered to undergraduates through UNH’s Discovery School – meets each Wednesday for three hours. McCann said it had to be moved into a larger lecture hall after registration surpassed 50 students.

Many of the students wear Patriots T-shirts or caps, but McCann makes sure they know that the law takes no sides.

“I’ve stressed from Day One this is not a pro-Patriots class,” he said. “This is not Deflategate according to Tom Brady. This is Deflategate.

“I want students to play devil’s advocate. I want students to take the opposite view even if they don’t like it. I’ve forced students to say, ‘Look at it from the NFL’s side – what is its best case against Tom Brady.’ ”

The idea for teaching a class on Deflategate was born in February, a few weeks after the Patriots had been accused of using deflated footballs in their 45-7 AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Margaret McCabe, associate dean of academic affairs at the UNH School of Law in Concord, told McCann that the investigation might go to court and could make a good case study. McCann agreed, and charted plans for a course that includes a nine-page syllabus with reading assignments before each class.

The first class was held Sept. 2 – the day before a federal judge vacated the four-game suspension levied on Brady by the NFL for his failure to cooperate with the league’s investigation.

McCann likes how these undergraduate students often engage in insightful – and sometimes emotional – discussions, like the one that occurred Wednesday night.

He began the second half of the class with a discussion about the NFL’s reinstatement of Patriots employees Jim McNally and John Jastremski, central figures in the deflated football scandal. News of their reinstatement broke during the first half of the class.

“What does that mean?” McCann asked.

“Maybe the NFL is trying to get things back to normal,” one student replied. Another student asked, “If they’re guilty, why would the league reinstate them?”

That discussion then led to the most recent accusation leveled against the Patriots, by the Pittsburgh Steelers after their 28-21 loss to the Patriots on Sept. 10. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin claimed his headsets weren’t working properly and that the problem always happened when his team came to Gillette Stadium. The NFL cleared the Patriots of any wrongdoing, but the students in McCann’s class don’t see an end to accusations.

That began what could only be called a 45-minute therapy session for the Patriots fans in the class. Some students offered impassioned reasons why the Patriots are so disliked – they win all the time; they’ve been caught cheating before (Spygate, 2007); people are jealous of them; they push the boundaries of fair play; the media hates the Patriots; Bill Belichick is disliked; Tom Brady is too perfect.

When a couple of New York Giants fans offered their observations, McCann noted, “You are both courageous for taking this class.”

It can’t just be about the winning, McCann said, because teams in other sports win as much and are applauded for their success. “Why do we hate some teams that are good, and admire others?” he asked.

McCann asked his students, “How many of you like the fact that the Patriots are hated?” A majority raised their hands.

Then he asked, “How many would prefer a team like the (San Antonio) Spurs?” Only one student raised his hand.

McCann said afterward that he had never had a discussion go on like that. “You could see the students’ eyes light up that they wanted to talk about it,” he said.

Deflategate has touched something in them.

“I like it, it’s interesting,” Jesse Arford, a freshman from Brunswick, said of the class. “Obviously the Tom Brady aspect, I want to get the inside scoop on everything.”

Ben Allen, a freshman from Portland, said he wanted a class he knew nothing about, like law. “I’ve been told to take courses that really interest me and I wanted to see the unbiased opinion behind it,” he said. “I love it. It’s really cool being in a class that I actually enjoy and have a genuine interest in.”

Bryce Blake, a freshman from Swanzey, New Hampshire, calls his father after each class to discuss what he learned. “It’s covering much more than what I expected,” he said. “I’m learning about a lot of stuff I never knew about. But my favorite part is when people get heated up and start arguing.”

McCann, who lives in Andover, Massachusetts, with his wife, Kara, said future classes will be devoted to the media coverage of Deflategate and the science behind the controversy.

Although the NFL’s appeal likely won’t be settled until next summer or fall, McCann said he’s not sure whether the class will return. But he’s pleased that the students have taken to the subject matter.

“I think the undergraduates are learning (that) in law it’s not like math where there is an answer,” he said. “In law, there are a series of arguments and you have to persuade someone that yours is right.”

For some students, however, no argument is going to change their opinion.

“I’m still a die-hard Patriots fan and you’ve got to love Tom,” said Portland’s Allen. “I don’t think this class will affect how I feel toward him.”