Tim Donaghy did not conduct himself honorably when he decided to bet on NBA games.As a NBA referee,it a total betrayal to the game.Not to mention that it’s also illegal.Despite that,Donaghy has redeemed himself somewhat in my eyes by coming clean about the mafia’s involvement in the NBA.
I am delighted to finally hear one of these refs admit what many have suspected all along.Referees sometimes make their calls based on personal feelings & outside influences.
Here’s more from 6O Minutes:
“And Donaghy might well have gotten away with it. He might still be reffing and betting today. But he fell in with the mob.
Donaghy was placing those bets through a friend. He was too scared of getting caught to do it himself. And their winning streak went on uninterrupted for three years. But in the fourth year, that friend let slip that he was getting his betting tips from an NBA ref.
The mob found out about it and wanted in on the action. That’s when Donaghy discovered what it means to be really scared.
It started outside a hotel at Philadelphia’s airport: the FBI says two men associated with the Gambino crime family requested a meeting with Donaghy and took him for a ride.
“They came down and picked me up,” Donaghy remembered. “They basically told me that I needed to give them the picks. And if I didn’t that it’s a possibility that somebody would go down and visit my wife and kids in Florida.”
Donaghy said he believed them and was scared. From then on his picks were relayed to the mob.
Asked how he communicated his bets to the mob, Donaghy said, “I would discuss it with a high school friend of mine, who would pass the information along to them.”
There was a code. “The code was if I want them to be the home team, I would discuss his brother Chuck. And if I wanted him to bet the visiting team, I would mention his brother Johnny,” Donaghy explained.
FBI Special Agent Scala told Simon the FBI made a very conservative estimate that the mob made at least a few million dollars off Donaghy’s picks.
Donaghy said the mob was paying him $2,000 per correct pick – peanuts considering they were making millions.
Asked why he didn’t ask for more money, Donaghy said, “It wasn’t about the money, at that point… It was just about getting through the season and hoping that’d end it.”
Because the mob put a lot of money on his picks, they were not good losers. We told you that in one game, Donaghy threw out the coach of the team they were betting on. That cost the mob the bet and they were not happy.
“They had questions as to why I did it,” Donaghy remembered. “I just told them that I wasn’t making calls in games to win, influence the outcome. And no I’m not gonna be able to obviously predict the winner every night. And you know, they have to accept that that’s what’s gonna happen.”
Asked if the mobsters accepted that, Donaghy told Simon, “I’m not sure that they accepted it or not, but that was the information that I passed to them.”
As it turned out, his mob connection brought him down.
The FBI, which was monitoring mob phone calls, heard that an NBA ref was betting on games. The information made it to Special Agent Scala, who headed the FBI’s Gambino family task force.
“One of the case agents had come into my office and said that they had information from a wire tap stating that there was huge sums of money being made and that someone thought that a ref may be involved,” Scala remembered.
“So if you hadn’t gotten involved with the mob you might still be out there reffing and betting on your own games?” Simon asked.
“Possibly,” Donaghy admitted.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.