Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Point Shaving and Game Fixing

Here is what I believe should terrify the sports fan about the Tim Donaghy gambling scandal.
Donaghy makes somewhere near $200,000 a year. He has been in the league for 13 years. He has two homes. He is living the life with a house on a Florida golf course.

And he got caught upside down. Think about this. He has it all. He is risking everything and he got caught upside down. What does it take for a guy with that many assets to get caught into the hands of the seedy side of the gambling world?

In contrast, think about your college athlete. He and few buddies are watching games on a Saturday and he lays down a few bucks on a few games. What does it take for a college kid to get upside down? If you are a college kid and you fall back $200 to $400 it is going to be hard to make that back. Moreso, if you are a college athlete and restricted on how much you can work even just became impossible. Maybe you go for one lucky game where you are sure you will be right. Opps now you are done $400 to $800 and the only way out is to alter a game for your booky.

That scenario is much more likely than I guy with it all going for him risking his life and $200,000 a year job.

That is what terrifies me. If an official making a good living is willing to risk it all what is taking place elsewhere.


courtsense said...

I've been watchng the NBA for close to 40 years now, and I can honestly say that even with the recnt news I'm far more concerned about mediocre refs blowing games with terrible calls than I am with *bad* refs fixing games.

If a player travels, call it - no matter who he is.

If a player hacks someone, call it - no matter who he is.

If a player flops everytime he gets brushed, call it - no matter who he is.

If a player is fouled going to the hoop, call it - no matter who he is, and no matter how much time is on the game clock. Nothing ticks me off more than refs not calling shooting fouls in the last several seconds of the game. BS! If you really want to "let the players decide the outcome" then stop rewarding the guys who commit last-second fouls knowing it won't be called. Name 1 other sport where the rules change in the last minute of play...

Mediocre refs who routinely make bad calls and ruin game after game throughout the season represent a far bigger threat to the integrity of the competition than 1 bad seed who has a gambling habit.

That's my rant for the day...

Anonymous said...

What's even more shocking is how many people look the other way when things go down like Super Bowl XL.

It's so funny that 95% of Americans rightly admit that 100% of American politicians are ruled by lobbyists, yet they believe professional sports is completely legitimate.

This is American culture. The almighty dollar rules everything.

Anonymous said...

Locke, great blog. Please keep it up. I miss listening to your show.

-- jason in dc