With news of veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy betting on games that he officiated coming to light, it made me think of the top 5 most scandalous fixings, bribes, and gambling in all of sports.
1. The Black Sox- During the 1919 World Series, 8 of the White Sox players were banned from major league baseball for their participation in throwing games during the series. Those banned included “Shoeless” Joe Jackson who was one of the premier players in the game.
2. NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on games he officiated- The only reason this isn’t ranked n.1 is because Tim Donaghy did not bet on any NBA games in the Finals and because news is still coming out about this scandal. However, unlike the Black Sox scandal, this crime involves the referees of the game. For years players, owners, and fans have questioned the integrity and honesty of referee’s officiating and this adds validity to their complaints. This hurts the commissioner of the NBA David Stern’s image who for years has defended his referees and fined those who have made negative commands towards the referees.
3. Pete Rose- No need to give it a cool title, the name says it all. The man bet on the Cincinnati Red’s as he managed the team! However, he claims he never bet AGAINST them. Even though this is illegal obviously and has kept him out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, at least he always had faith that his team would win!
4. The 2002 Olympic Winter Games figure skating scandal- When an event that happens once every four years involving people from all over the world in peace and harmony is corrupted, what could be worse? In the pairs competition, thanks to a French judge, the Russians were awarded the gold medal over the Canadians who had a much better performance and had the crowd behind them. When the French judge was confronted after the event, she admitted that she had been pressured by the head of the French skating organization to vote for the Russian pair. This was alleged to be part of a deal to get an advantage for the French couple in the ice dance competition that was scheduled a few days later.
5. Kentucky Fried Bribes- Former Kentucky basketball players Alex Groza, Ralph Beard and Dale Barnstable were arrested for accepting money from gamblers to shave points during the 1948-49 season.The three players pleaded guilty to receiving $1,500 in bribes in exchange for shaving points in a 1949 National Invitation Tournament match against Loyola-Chicago. The Wildcats were favored by 10 points to win the game, but lost 67-56. However, the team was still able to win the NCAA championship that year.