Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA Referee being investigated by the FBI

Murray Weiss at the New York Post writes just that.

July 20, 2007 — THE FBI is investigating an NBA referee who allegedly was betting on basketball games – including ones he was officiating during the past two seasons – as part of an organized-crime probe in the Big Apple, The Post has learned.

The investigation, which began more than a year ago, is zeroing in on blockbuster allegations that the referee was making calls that affected the point spread to guarantee that he — and the hoods who had their hooks in him — cashed in on large bets.

A law enforcement official told the AP on the condition of anonymity that the referee was aware of the investigation and was planning to surrender next week.

The official said the bets involved thousands of dollars and were made on games during the 2005-2006 and the 2006-2007 seasons.

The NBA issued a brief statement: “We have been asked by the FBI, with whom we are working closely, not to comment on this matter at this time.”

Federal agents are set to arrest the referee and a cadre of mobsters and their associates who lined their pockets, sources said.

Shocking but I’m surprised there haven’t been more sports related gambling scandals over the years, that resulted in games being fixed. The Chicago Black Sox scandal is most famous of all, there was point shaving at City College in the early 1950′s. More recently we had Pete Rose and Rick Tocchet. The NBA is probably taking action quietly. A sport doesn’t ever need its integrity questioned.

A joke I heard long ago was about the famous baseball manager Casey Stengel going to heaven. As soon as Casey arrives, God calls. God asks Casey to organize a baseball team. Casey looks around and there’s Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson etc. Within minutes Casey organizes what he thinks will be the greatest team ever.

Then the Devil calls. He wants to play a baseball game against Casey’s team.

Casey- “You’ll never win. I have all the great baseball players.”
The Devil- “True but I have all the umpires.”

Hat tip- Betsy

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