NBA Czar admits to Gambling
Donaghy pleaded guilty to felony charges during a hearing in a District Court In Brooklyn. His lawyer said that Donaghy is suffering from a severe gambling addiction for which he is currently under doctor’s treatment.
He admitted that he has been gambling on NBA games in some of which he officiated as referee. He worked with professional gamblers giving them tip offs and insider information regarding referee assignments and players’ health.
The court further heard that Donaghy was paid to make selections on games earning between $2,000 to $5,000 for each correct selection. At this stage, it does not appear that the authorities are investigating him on criminal charges and it is unclear whether his cooperation with the FBI will bring some of his colleagues in the spotlight for similar misdemeanors. Points shaving and match fixing do not feature in the charges.
Donaghy has not spoken out publicly since gambling charges were brought and remains silent. The NBA however, have called him a “rogue and isolated criminal” and declared its determination to root out the problem, putting in place procedures and policies which will improve referee oversight. The fact that he has been gambling on NBA games without intervention from the NBA is irksome to League officials who have declined to comment.
The disgraced referee told the court that he deprived the NBA of his honest services. The NBA did look into rumours that Donaghy was gambling in 2005 but said at the time they could find no evidence. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 9 and Donaghy had to surrender his passport as he is not allowed to travel outside of New York, Florida or Pennsylvania.