Stern Warning

July 29, 2007

NBA Referee Scandal

July 28. 2007

NBA commissioner David Stern before the referee scandal:

NBA commissioner David Stern after the referee scandal:

National Basketball Association referee Tim Donaghy is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations for betting on games he officiated where his calls influenced the score.

During a press conference, Stern was asked by a reporter, what evidence he had in his possession that the referee had done anything wrong. Stern basically replied, and I’m paraphrasing: let’s put it this way, I was informed by his lawyer that he is preparing to take the plea deal. That pretty much floored everyone. Then Stern further stated, “Does that answer your question.”

Personally, I don’t think the league is crooked. There are some bad apples that need addressing, but overall, I think the players play because they truly love it and many games are properly officiated by competent referees.

That’s me however. The league may not have an easy time convincing everyone that everything is above board in the face of such a scandal. People are going to hold referees up to a greater level of scrutiny as a result.

Tim Donaghy

Stern also said during the press conference that a ref of Donaghy’s tenure, 10 years with the league, makes $260,000 per year. There are doctors that don’t even make that much. Therefore, it certainly wasn’t because he wasn’t being properly compensated.

This is one of the reasons I don’t like gambling. It ensnares people in other things that can ruin them. Donaghy needs to just take his punishment and move on with his life.

Basketball player Allen Iverson commented on the case:

“All I can say is, it’s good to see the shoe on the other foot,” Denver Nuggets superstar guard Allen Iverson tells NEWSWEEK. “To see someone other than players getting talked about and criticized is something I didn’t ever see coming. I’m not happy about it because it makes the entire game look bad, but hopefully those people who think it’s just the players that cause problems will think twice. It’s more complicated than that.”

Classmate Expects To Be Indicted As Well

“Classmate expects indictment – Donaghy acquaintance waiting for NBA case

Jul. 28, 2007 12:00 AM – The former operator of a suburban Philadelphia sports bar expects to be indicted in connection with the NBA betting investigation involving a referee who was his high school classmate.

James Battista went to Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., at the same time as former referee Tim Donaghy, said Battista’s lawyer, Jack McMahon.

“They’re not strangers to each other, that’s for sure,” McMahon said. “They did go to high school together but two years apart.”

McMahon said prosecutors have not told him they plan to indict Battista, “but as a practical matter I know they are, and so we’re just kind of in a wait-and-see position to when it comes down and what the exact allegations are.”

Battista had only “minor” offenses on his record, including some kind of gambling offense, McMahon said.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/sports/articles/0728nbanb0728.html

Story found here

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