It was a few years ago that the NCAA’s all-time winningest basketball coach invited criticism and severely pissed off the NCAA when he commented about basketball officials and the probability that some of them fix games for various financial reasons. Idealists would never want to believe in such behavior. Realists recognize that the behavior is inevitable, but we will never know the truth behind 99% of such situations.
Coach Knight’s comments…and the basketball god’s fears are manifesting themselves into reality today as the AP is just breaking a story originally run by the New York Post. The headline is a basketball junkie’s worst nightmare:
FBI investigating NBA ref in game fixing probe
The FBI is investigating allegations that a veteran NBA referee bet on basketball games over the past two seasons, including ones in which he officiated.
According to a law enforcement official, authorities are examining whether the referee made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered.
The law enforcement official, who spoke to the AP on Friday on condition of anonymity, said the referee was aware of the investigation and had made arrangements to surrender as early as next week to face charges. The official, who did not identify the referee, is familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
The law enforcement official said the bets involved thousands of dollars and were made on games during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons.
The probe, which began recently, also involves allegations that the referee had connections to organized crime associates. Other arrests are expected, the official said.
The referee had a gambling problem, according to the official, and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance.
The investigation first was reported Friday by the New York Post.
* Rejoice! Larry Rose retiring. (Link)
* Ted Valentine – Diva of the college game (Link)
* Ted Valentine – Terrbile Ted ruins Final Four (Link)
* Ted Valentine – CLT OBS criticism (Link)