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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Growing Ref Scandal

The Tim Donaghy story goes on: drip, drip, drip. I’m a skeptic by nature, an anti-conspiracy theorist. It’s easy to believe that a ref with a gambling problem decided to shade the games he worked; it’s hard to believe he was part of a complex conspiracy – given how hard it is to keep a secret — and even harder to think that the NBA office would be so stupid as to try to cover up said conspiracy. Disgraced ref Donaghy has made some wild allegations, but without corroborating evidence, his credibility is low.  And yet there’s a story out today that’s making me think twice.  

According to Fox News, court documents show that Donaghy made 134 phone calls to fellow ref Steve Foster between October 2006 and April 2007, a period in which he was betting on games. According to the report, most of the calls were short and came before or after games that have been called into question.  Now, that’s a lot of calls — almost daily, on average. The only person Donaghy called more often was the guy who placed bets for him. 

Fox reported that Foster says he knows of no investigation. The NBA put out a lame statement: “The government has said that they have found no evidence of criminal conduct aside from that of Mr. Donaghy. Once again, the only criminal conduct is that of Mr. Donaghy.”

More details here and here

Jon Abbey is looking more and more like his gravatar, by the second.’

13 comments on “Growing Ref Scandal

  1. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Ouch that looks awfully suspicious. Unless Donaghy and Foster are lovers, that seems an excessive amount of calling. Hell I don’t even speak to my wife that often.

    Usually the Feds are good at sniffing out any activity, so if Foster was betting on games, he’ll likely be caught as well. It’s hard to hide gambling expenses especially if you’re making a referee’s salary.

    I hate to jump the gun, in the least damaging (but yet guilty) scenario, he knows of Donaghy’s gambling habits and is just a friend (a gambling voyeur?). Even this much should cost him his job. Of course Foster could have been doing worse.

    If this is true, the NBA is going to need more than a former army pencil pusher to clean this up. They’re going to need an independent third party to take a look at their refs. I agree with the sentiment that Stern isn’t doing enough. Had he done this from the beginning of the Donaghy scandal, a second bad referee wouldn’t be an issue. It would install confidence on NBA fans that the commissioner is in charge.

    But since the Feds is taking the lead in the matter, combined with Stern’s stance that “this was one rogue referee” it’s going to appear that he’s either incompetent or oblivious to what the officials are doing.

    That’s IF Foster is guilty of something.

  2. jon abbey

    yeah, I posted about this on my blog last night (click on my name). this is the best link for this, the detailed records they print there for the one game day are pretty damning:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,381842,00.html

    also, keep in mind that Stern knew all of this, and still allowed Foster to be assigned to games 1 and 5 of the Finals this year (along with his lapdog Bavetta), just amazing.

  3. Renaldo Balkman's Agent

    Don’t they have working payphones on some city blocks still?

    I thought the only reason to keep them around was for dirty refs to talk to their bookies and fix games with their buddies. If they’re not using ‘em, who is??

  4. Z

    Looks like the Clips got Deng to sign a 5 year $70 million offer.

    The Clippers are going to use their cap space to drive up the price of every restricted FA, only to be left with Zach Randolph by the end of the month.

  5. Dan Panorama

    “The Clippers are going to use their cap space to drive up the price of every restricted FA, only to be left with Zach Randolph by the end of the month.”

    We can only hope.

  6. daaarn

    Looks like the Clips got Deng to sign a 5 year $70 million offer.
    The Clippers are going to use their cap space to drive up the price of every restricted FA, only to be left with Zach Randolph by the end of the month.

    Link? and hopefully they do drive up all the prices so when teams match, they’ll price themselves out of free agency in ’10.

  7. Z

    No link. They’re reporting it on the radio here (LA), citing a radio station out of chicago. Sorry if it’s bad info. I’ve been waiting for verification myself…

  8. hooplaya1

    basically, the NBA is by far the worst officiated league and its pathetic that a guy throwing games was a highly ranked official. it runs much deeper. David Stern should come clean but can’t because they use the officials to get the results they want. GROSS! College refs are great. This is just a huge scam and anyone who watches the NBA and knows basketball is well aware they miss and create calls throughout every quarter of every game.

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