Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleads guilty to felony charges
By PAT MILTON, Associated Press Writer
August 15, 2007
NEW YORK (AP) – Former referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty to two felony charges Wednesday in an NBA betting scandal that rocked the league and raised questions about the integrity of games.
Donaghy faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced for conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting wagering information through interstate commerce.
Donaghy provided recommendations, called “picks,” to co-conspirators about what team they should bet on, said U.S. District Court Judge Carol Bagley Amon. If he was correct, they paid him.
The picks included information about games that Donaghy officiated, the government said.
The information was not public, the judge said. Donaghy had “unique access,” including what crews would officiate at games, the interaction of different officials and players, and the physical condition of certain players.
He concealed the scheme from the NBA and other referees to avoid detection, the judge said.
Donaghy also must pay a $500,000 fine and at least $30,000 in restitution.
Donaghy, who stood ramrod-straight, hands clasped in front of him, spoke in nearly inaudible tones as he told the judge that he is seeing a psychiatrist for his gambling addiction, and is taking an antidepressant and anxiety medication.
Prosecutors said in open court that Donaghy bet on games himself; but that was not a specific part of the verbal admission he made before the judge.
The two alleged co-conspirators were in the custody of federal marshals on Wednesday and were awaiting arraignment on conspiracy charges carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years.
Donaghy concealed the scheme from the NBA and other referees to avoid detection, the judge said.
The FBI first contacted the NBA on June 20 to talk about a referee alleged to be gambling on games, and the two sides met on June 21, NBA commissioner David Stern said last month. Donaghy resigned July 9 after 13 years as a referee; Stern said he would have fired him sooner but was told it might affect the investigation.
Stern blamed a “rogue, isolated criminal” for the betting scandal that threatened the credibility of every referee.
Donaghy was rated in the top tier of officials, Stern said, and there was nothing suspicious about the frequency of his foul calls. He was assigned to work in the second round of the playoffs, with his last NBA game coming during the Phoenix-San Antonio Western Conference semifinal series.
No other NBA officials or players were expected to be involved in the scandal, which Stern called the “most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or a commissioner of the NBA.”
Вообще это ужасно. Но боюсь, что многие этим занимаются, только … не болтают. Не пойман - не вор.
В том то и дело. Этот случай открыл общественности глаза что на самом деле может творится за кулисами судейства и всегда ли судьи так беспристрастны и корысти ли ради или просто из-за каких-то личных причин могут подсуживать той или иной команде.
Essentially, Donaghy used for gambling purposes his knowledge of who would be officiating which games. He knew which refs had issues with which coaches and players, and how that could influence the scoreboard. He also knew certain officials would dictate a certain style of play.
“By having this non-public information, I was in a unique position to predict the outcome of NBA games,” Donaghy told the judge. At times, maybe he oversold the usefulness of his insider knowledge to gamblers. Maybe his mob connections won most of those bets, kicking him back $5,000 for each winner, on basketball acumen or dumb luck. Whatever the case, this confirms our fears of how agendas – some innocent, some not – play out in the sport. Perception becomes reality, and the reality is the NBA has lost the credibility, the moral authority, to defend itself.
Один из моих друзей вообще спорт не смотрит говоря что там давно уже всё поделено-переделено между устроителями и это всё одно сплошное шоу ради изымания денег у тех наивных кто ещё верит в честные сореввнования. Я пока с ним не соглашаюсь и верю что исход матчей не предрешён до начала матчей … Но задуматься после таких скандалов конечно можно…
А что, ежели такие мульоны крутятся, то есть соблазн.
У нас в штате был прецедент в прошлом году, но быстренько замяли.