Despite Reports, There Is No Big NBA Betting Scandal

By Gregory Moore
Updated: July 23, 2007

SAN ANTONIO — With the recent emergence that Tim Donaghy is under investigation for betting against NBA games, including the ones in which he officiated, there has been wide assumption that the NBA has a large scandal on its hands.

This assumption is almost entirely based upon media speculation simply because most assume that one referee can control the outcome of a NBA contest. That is not only a false assumption but a near incomprehensible delusional theory that is very much nothing more than simply that; a theory of someone’s imagination who believes in conspiracy.

The assumption that one referee can control the betting line is very much unrealistic. To begin with, you are assuming that not one referee but THREE referees are in the scandal together.

Considering that the NBA selects the crews ahead of time, one might be able to come to such a conclusion however you are then questioning the very character of some 60 men and women; all who have an average of about 10 years of officiating NBA games during the regular and post season.

To further this theory even further, you are assuming that some of the players and/or coaches who Donaghy and his crew may officiate are in the scandal as well. That’s three referees and about an average of two or three key players and/or coaches in on this deal?

Finally you are then assuming that the league itself, with its meticulous practices of grading referees, watching game tape, grading out each crew member and whatever else a referee must go through each and every game and you are assuming that everyone in that circle is crooked and on the take.

From looking at that conspiracy that everyone who is assuming the league has a scandal on its hands of grand proportions is simply unfounded and unsubstantiated.

Here’s what is in front of the whole world in this case:

1. One lone referee MAY HAVE made contact with some very LOW LEVEL mafia individuals that he owed money to and he worked out a way in which both he and the “partners” he owed money to could profit from a different bet line.

2. That no way during the two years that this allegedly took place, has the Vegas betting line be influenced in any fashion. The action that Donaghy orchestrated was so minute that it wasn’t even a blip on the radar screen.

3. Even though it is being reported that the league was happy with his work, Donaghy was under investigation internally and once proper documents showing his illegal activity came back to the league, they quietly removed him from the playoff roster.

4. That in no fashion did any of Donaghy’s calls influence the outcome of any games he may have officiated in were effected

The league is not commenting on this situation because the FBI asked them not to. What needs to be assumed in this case is that maybe an internal investigation had already begun on Donaghy and that best way to handle this matter was to allow him to continue working until the evidence supported their suspicions.

Don’t think that David Stern doesn’t know what is going on. Just because you don’t hear anything doesn’t mean that league hasn’t been on top of the situation.

This isn’t some major scandal that is going to rock the NBA’s foundation. One man does not have that kind of stranglehold on a league from his position. It is a situation that is basically a one on one type escapade.

Any type of speculation only clouds the issue even further and does not provide the audience with all of the necessary and vital statistics and/or supporting documents on this issue.