Naive to think fixes haven’t been common

19 05 2008

by Michael Rosenberg, Special to FOXSports.com

Updated: May 19, 2008, 1:18 PM EST

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If you watched much of the NBA in recent years, you might have gotten duped at some point. Former referee Tim Donaghy bet on 14 games that he worked in 2006-07, according to court filings.

Please, please, PLEASE: Do not be surprised.

It is not a surprise that Donaghy bet on games; this was fairly apparent last summer, when he was arrested. It is not a surprise that he bet on games in which he officiated; this too was evident.

And we should not have been surprised last summer, when the news broke. The sports world is in denial about gambling.

We think point-shaving is extremely rare and isolated, mostly because that’s what we want to believe. We think of Donaghy as a rogue criminal, because it’s easier to think of him that way. But enough point-shaving scandals have emerged in the last 20 years to make fans and executives re-evaluate the threat.

Consider that A) gambling is an addiction that leads people to commit acts out of desperation, for money; B) basically every game you watch is fixable, since every game is gambled upon; and C) well, do you really need a C?

No matter the sport, we watch because we assume the outcome is not pre-determined.


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