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Donaghy: “Tonight we dine in Hell.”

Posted by Matt on August 18, 2007

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Last Update By Matt: August 18, 2007 at 12:07PM EST – added: Orange update.

UPDATE BY MATT 08/18/07 AT 12:07PM EST: In a move that can only be described as “if I am going down, everybody is coming with me,” Donaghy will reportedly implicate 20 other NBA referees in part of the gambling scandal he finds himself knee-deep in. This sounds like a simple case of one trying to negotiate his/her on plea bargain as I don’t expect Tim wants to spend 25 years in what Michael Bolton would call “pound me in the ass prison.” The problem is that you are not afforded the opportunity to make your own plea bargain and he can provide the prosecution with all the names he wants, but if the FBI hasn’t found any evidence on the names he spews out and the Referee’s Union maintains Donaghy acted alone, he’ll only look like the boy who cried ‘wolf.’ Now that Tim has plead ‘guilty,’ we can all sit back and watch how ridiculous this gets.

I look for the odds on “will David Stern/the Referee’s Union/the mob put a hit on Donaghy to silence him” to open up at 9-to-1.

Link: Referees union maintains Donaghy acted alone (MSNBC.com)

UPDATE BY MATT 08/17/2007 AT 4:10PM EST: Tim Donaghy could face charges in Arizona regarding a fix on not one, but two Phoenix Suns playoff games refereed by Donaghy; “Condos” The NBA Conspiracy Theory is more possible than anyone originally thought, maybe for different motives but scary nonetheless. Read it.

Link: Arizona officials eyeing Donaghy’s call in Suns’ game (ESPN.com)

UPDATE BY MATT 08/15/2007 AT 12:50PM: ESPN.com is reporting that “rogue” referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty not one, but TWO felony charges in Federal court today in what a Judge said was Donaghy giving game tips to co-conpsirators on the team they should bet on and receiving compensation when the selection was correct. Donaghy is looking at a $300,000 fine and up to 25 years in prison. Holy shit, really, that is all I can say.

Link: Donaghy pleads guilty, could face up to 25 years in prison (ESPN.com)

UPDATE BY MATT 08/14/2007 AT 10:40PM: ESPN.com is reporting that sources close to the probe in to wayward NBA referee, Tim Donaghy, revealed late this evening that Tim will plead “guilty” on charges that he bet on games that he was referring. The plea will be filed in a Federal court on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 but Donaghy will be the only NBA employee, current or former, charged for the transgressions.

Link: Tim Donaghy to plead guilty on charges he bet on games (ESPN.com)

My Take: I am sure the NBA will be glad to have this over sooner rather than later as a high profile trial would’ve been insult to injury for the league had Donaghy decided to plead ‘not guilty’ and face a jury of his peers (see Michael Vick). The quicker David Stern and company can tuck this event away in the history books the better as this is yet another black eye on an embattled league. Luckily for Stern, however, is the fact that the “Ookie Vick Dog Fighting Scandal” has pushed the “Tim Donaghy Is An Idiot” to the second page of many sports reports.

I don’t know if there is anyone happier to have dog fighting around right now than David Stern, except for maybe Joey Harrington – he’s a pretty lucky beneficiary as well.

July 24, 2007: David Stern’s Press Conference Bullet Points by Matt:

  • The NBA was notified by the FBI on June 20, 2007 of the allegations that were beginning to surface but was told to keep quiet about it until further notice.
  • The NBA was aware in January of 2005, however, of Mr. Donaghy’s possible personal issues including erratic behavior, anger-management problems, as well as possible gambling before becoming a referee.
  • Tim Donaghy resigned on July 9, 2007 but Stern and the NBA wanted to take action on Mr. Donaghy sooner but was told by the FBI to keep quiet in order to aid the investigation.
  • Stern called this the “most serious situation and worst situation” he has ever been involved with but claimed that with all of the resources available to him, he can say, with some confidence, that this is a completely “isolated situation.”
  • Stern outlined the league’s policies (no gambling, etcetera) said that even if you do your best at securing the league, it may not stop wrong doing, especially if they’re as determined as Mr. Donaghy was; calling him a “rogue.”
  • Stern stated that the NBA will do everything in its power to “assure the fans they are doing the best they possibly can” regarding looking back and analyzing games and fixing this problem.
  • Stern said that the policies regarding referees will be more transparent in the future and that the referees will be graded more stringently.
  • The league looked in to allegations that Donaghy bet in a casino in Atlantic City during this investigation and these allegations came up frivolous, on top of the fact that the NBA works closely with the Nevada Gaming Commission and Las Vegas odds-makers to observe any abnormal or erratic movement in betting lines that the NBA should be aware of. There is no sports gambling in Atlantic City, however.
  • David Stern laid out his entire security system for the NBA to prove that the league was doing everything it could to prevent this and this wasn’t the fault of a systematic flaw.

Other Links Of Interest:

  1. June 13, 2007: The NBA Conspiracy Theory by “Condo”
  2. July 21, 2007: Saturday Morning Notes, NBA Fixing, And More! by Matt
  3. July 23, 2007: Tim Donaghy Update by “Doc” Hancock and Matt
  4. July 23, 2007: It Happens Every Spring by “Doc” Hancock
  5. August 2, 2007: Who Wants To Be A Commissioner? by “Charlie Hustle”

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One Response to “Donaghy: “Tonight we dine in Hell.””

  1. Condo said

    Can honestly say that Joey Harrington has to be one of the luckiest SOB’s when it comes to finding a starting job in the NFL. Drafted by the Lions early in the first round and was basically given every chance in the world by Detroit to make something of himself, and never did.

    Lands in Miami last year and lucks into the starting role when Culpepper basically came back too soon from his knee injury the year prior and lasted only 5 games.

    Then comes to Atlanta, and now is going to get the starting job thanks to Michael Vick’s situation.

    I don’t think anyone in the NFL (besides maybe Vinny Testeverde back in the day) is as lucky as Joey Harrington.

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