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NBA referee Tim Donaghy is under investigation by the FBI for allegations that he bet on games that he officiated over the past two seasons and that he made calls affecting the point spread in games, multiple sources told ESPN.

Donaghy, a 13-year veteran of the league, is aware of the investigation and resigned from the NBA recently.

The NBA issued a brief statement Friday, saying: "We have been asked by the FBI, with whom we are working closely, not to comment on this matter at this time."

According to a law enforcement official, authorities are examining whether Donaghy -- whose identity was not revealed until Friday afternoon -- made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered.



Donaghy

The law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity, said the referee was aware of the investigation and had made arrangements to surrender as early as next week to face charges. The official, who did not identify the referee, is familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.

The investigation first was reported Friday by the New York Post.

The law enforcement official said the bets involved thousands of dollars and were made on games during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons.

The FBI probe, which began recently, also involves allegations that the referee had connections to organized crime associates. Other arrests are expected, the official said.

The referee had a gambling problem, according to the official, and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance.

Nevada gambling regulators were not involved in an investigation and had no information about the allegations, said Jerry Markling, enforcement chief for the state Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board.

Jay Kornegay, executive director of the sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton, said he had never seen any unusual activity in NBA betting, and was surprised not to have heard about an investigation until Friday.

"Whispers would have happened on the street, and we would have heard something," Kornegay said. "Any type of suspicious or unusual movements, you usually hear in the industry. We're so regulated and policed, any kind of suspicion would be discussed.

"We haven't seen anything like that in the NBA that I can remember," he said, "and we haven't been contacted by anybody."

Kornegay said legal sports betting in Nevada represents a fraction of sports betting worldwide, with 98.5 percent of all action taken outside the state. Clayton cited a 2005 estimate by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission that found $380 billion is wagered on illegal sports betting, compared with $2.25 billion in legal sports betting in Nevada.

Gambling long has been a problem in sports, and leagues have made a point of educating players of the potential pitfalls. The NBA, for example, discusses gambling at rookie orientation, even bringing in former mobster Michael Franceze to speak.

NBA commissioner David Stern had long objected to putting a team in Las Vegas because it permits betting on basketball, though earlier this year allowed Mayor Oscar Goodman to submit a proposal to owners on how the city would handle wagering on a team if it moved there.
 

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More details of the specifics...

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=A0WTeRn1L6JGYG8A8Ag5nYcB?slug=ap-bettingprobe&prov=ap&type=lgns

FBI investigating whether NBA ref bet on games

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
July 21, 2007

A point-shaving scandal is an enormous problem in any sport. This one, which might involve an NBA referee, has the potential to permanently scar the league.

The NBA acknowledged Friday the FBI is investigating Tim Donaghy for betting on games, including ones in which he officiated.

"It's a shame," the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant said. "It's just unfortunate. ... Like I said, it's a very serious issue."

According to a law enforcement official, authorities are examining whether the referee made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered thousands of dollars over the past two seasons.

The referee had a gambling problem and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance, said the official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Gambling long has been a problem in sports, and leagues have made a point of educating players of the potential pitfalls. The NBA, for example, discusses gambling at rookie orientation, even bringing in former mobster Michael Franceze to speak.

And the NBA dealt with negative stories about its officials earlier this year when an academic study detailed a bias by referees against players of the opposite color. The league requires its officials to file reports and defend or discuss every questionable call they make in a game.

Donaghy, who reportedly has resigned, was an NBA official for 13 years. He officiated 68 games in the 2005-06 season and 63 games in 2006-07, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He also worked 20 playoff games, including five last season -- Pistons-Magic on April 23; Warriors-Mavericks on April 27; Suns-Lakers on April 29; Nets-Raptors on May 4; and Spurs-Suns on May 12.

Those studying Donaghy's games might have noticed some trends.

When the home team was favored by 0-4 1/2 points, it went 5-12 against the spread in games officiated by Donaghy this season, according to Covers.com, a Web site that tracks referee trends. Home underdogs were 1-7 against the spread when it was 5-9.5 points.

Donaghy was part of a crew working the Heat-Knicks game in New York in February when the Knicks shot 39 free throws to the Heat's eight, technical fouls were called on Heat coach Pat Riley and assistant Ron Rothstein, and the Knicks won by six. New York was favored by 4 1/2 .

Defense attorney John Lauro confirmed Donaghy is under investigation, but refused to comment on the allegations or the case.

"They are serious allegations," the leader of the referees' union, Lamell McMorris told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's an ongoing federal investigation. And we don't really have much more to say about it, and neither do the referees."

In Bradenton, Fla., a woman came to the door of the home where Donaghy lives and shouted through the door: "We have no comment."

Donaghy is perhaps best-known previously as one of the referees in the 2004 game at Detroit that ended with Indiana Pacers players fighting with Pistons fans, among the biggest black marks in league history.

This could top it.

"We would like to assure our fans that no amount of effort, time or personnel is being spared to assist in this investigation, to bring to justice an individual who has betrayed the most sacred trust in professional sports, and to take the necessary steps to protect against this ever happening again," commissioner David Stern said in a statement.

Stern's statement said the FBI is investigating allegations a "single" referee bet on basketball. But the law enforcement official said other arrests are expected.

NBA players in Las Vegas for USA Basketball minicamp were surprised and disappointed to learn of the accusations.

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony said he was confident the NBA would sort it out.

"I'm pretty sure they're going to take care of it when they find out what's going on, so I leave it up to them," he said. "It's shocking. I'm pretty sure they're going to get to the bottom of it."

Nevada gambling regulators were not involved in an investigation and had no information about the allegations, said Jerry Markling, enforcement chief for the state Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board.

Veteran oddsmaker John Avello, at the Wynn resort on the Las Vegas Strip, said that without specific information it would be difficult to identify wagering irregularities over the last two seasons.

"At this point, it's too early to know if any games were affected," Avello said.

The law enforcement official said the referee was aware of the investigation and had made arrangements to surrender as early as next week to face charges.

The investigation was first reported Friday by the New York Post.

"I'm shocked, terribly shocked," said Gary Benson, an NBA official for 17 years who retired two years ago.

Benson said he didn't work with Donaghy much.

"You have a lot of acquaintances and very few friends. ... I probably worked a handful of games with him overall, just a handful."

Donaghy's neighbors in Bradenton also knew little about the man who has grabbed the attention of the NBA and FBI.

Bob Girard, who lives near Donaghy in a gated community along a golf course, said he only noticed one thing out of the ordinary about his neighbor.

"His house just went up for sale," said Girard, who recalled Donaghy moving into the neighborhood less than a year ago.

When Girard saw the news of the NBA betting scandal on TV, he wondered whether it might involve his neighbor, the NBA referee with daughters who sometimes sold lemonade in front of their house for five cents a cup.

"They've got a nice family," Girard said. "They seem to be a pretty normal family to me."
 

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Any time there is loads of money going into sports betting there will be plenty of fixes around. Has always been that way.
 

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Saw one of the better fixes tonight that I've seen for awhile, it would be in the top 20 I've seen this year. Hoops--NZ threw the game vs Venezuela, 12.00 ML I hope those involved made plenty.
 
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