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Friday, July 20, 2007

This could get ugly

The AP is reporting an FBI investigation is under way concerning allegations that a veteran NBA referee, identifited by CBS Sportsline as Tim Donaghy, bet on NBA games including ones he officiated.

This isn't good.

Yes, I know he is presumed innocent the same way Michael Vick is.

But take a minute to ponder what this means. An NBA ref betting money on a game, having the power to make some calls go one way or ignore them the other.

Now we're talking about the integrity of the game. We're talking about the integrity of the event you just paid big money to see.

We all go to games presuming everything is on the up and up. Only the most cynical of us think what we're watching could be tainted.

Just a while back, former Ole Miss and Texas coach Bob Weltlich wrote a book called "Crooked Zebra.''

Check on the Amazon.com review of the book:

When a boy, his mentor and his mother's boyfriend become involved in a Mafia sponsored scheme to fix college's national championship basketball game, the reader realizes for the first time the real possibility of a referee's involvement in making such a plan become a reality. This book illustrates how officials can impact and alter the outcome of athletic events and the ending of the book will surprise and delight the reader. After reading the Crooked Zebra, no longer will referees or games be looked upon in the same light as the author illustrates how simply such a scenario can be carried out.

Sound familiar?


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