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Thread: NBA Ref Pleads Guilty

  1. #1
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    Another Reason that the Chowds have been quiet this week

    Could they be afraid of NFL refs coming clean about their championships*



    Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleads guilty to felony charges

    By PAT MILTON, Associated Press Writer
    August 15, 2007

    AP - Aug 15, 1:51 pm EDT
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    NEW YORK (AP) -- Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty to felony charges Wednesday for taking cash payoffs from gamblers and betting on games he officiated in a scandal that rocked the league and raised questions about the integrity of the sport.

    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. He was released on a $250,000 bond.

    Speaking in code during telephone calls, Donaghy provided recommendations, called "picks," to co-conspirators about what team they should bet on, said U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon. If he was correct, they paid him $5,000.

    The picks, the government said, included information about games that Donaghy officiated -- information that was not public. Donaghy had "unique access," including what crews would be officiating games, the interaction of different officials and players, and the physical condition of certain players.

    Donaghy was fined $500,000 and must pay at least $30,000 in restitution to the government.

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    Commissioner David Stern said the NBA would "continue with our ongoing and thorough review of the league's officiating program to ensure that the best possible policies and procedures are in place to protect the integrity of our game."

    Donaghy's lawyer, John Lauro, told The Associated Press: "Tim is relieved this part of the proceeding is over and we look forward to completely resolving this matter in the coming months.

    "Tim deeply regrets his involvement in this matter and especially the pain it has caused his family, friends and co-workers."

    Donaghy stood ramrod-straight, hands clasped in front of him, and spoke in nearly inaudible tones as he addressed the judge. He said he was seeing a psychiatrist for his gambling addiction and taking antidepressant and anxiety medication.

    Prosecutors said Donaghy bet on games himself, but that was not a specific part of the verbal admission he made before the judge.

    Two alleged co-conspirators, identified by prosecutors as James Battista, a professional gambler, and Thomas Martino, were in the custody of federal marshals and awaiting arraignment on conspiracy charges carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years.

    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, 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 called Donaghy a "rogue, isolated criminal" during his July press conference and said no other NBA officials or players were expected to be involved in the scandal. Stern called it 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."

    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.

    "Tim Donaghy's former colleagues on the NBA's officiating staff are deeply saddened to learn that he pleaded guilty today to wagering on professional basketball games and providing others with non-public information on those games," referees association spokesman Lamell McMorris said. "This is a truly unfortunate case of wrongdoing by one of our own who has admitted to having a serious gambling problem.

    "We recognize that a cloud has descended upon all referees, but we are committed to showing the public that this was an isolated event and that NBA officiating is conducted at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and fairness."

    Donaghy will be sentenced Nov. 9, Lauro said.

    He turned over his passport and must seek permission to travel anywhere other than Pennsylvania, Florida or New York.



    Updated on Wednesday

  2. #2
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    If you're a fan of the NBA, this is the best thing that happened to the league since Bird & Magic

    Notice I didn't say since Michael Jordan who came after Bird & Magic, cause while I believe Jordan is arguably the GOAT, better than Bird and Magic, perhaps the Greatest individual talent since Wilt and Oscar, in many ways the Jordan era ushered in the downfall of the NBA, the star system, and by that I mean one set of rules for the stars {i.e. breathe on the star and it's a foul, which only applies to the stars, while the star can hack you into the front row without getting called for a foul} and another set of rules for everyone else, I believe this exactly what it took {ref fixing games} to finally put an end to David Sterns star system

    Can't do it anymore, cause now the crowds will start chanting "FIX FIX FIX", and how can the league respond, how can they label that charge outrageous with a straight face?

    THEY CAN'T .. now they have to bend over backwards to ref these games fairly from start to finish with the same rules applying to everyone across the board, STAR or NO STAR, everyone has to be held to the same standard

    IMO the star system was second only to the hip-hop culture in killing basketball, so in my view this a GREAT DAY for the NBA .. Just what the doctor ordered .. fans have been lamenting the star system for decades and David Stern has basically responded with a Giant FU, he could not have been more arrogant when it came to this issue, now he's been humbled, now he has NO CHOICE but to address that issue and finally put the kibosh on his precious star system or invite abject humliation from a fanbase that will no longer tolerate it without chanting in unison .. THE FIX IS IN!!

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