Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP
NBA official Tim Donaghy talks with another official during a timeout during a Washington
Wizards vs. New Jersey Nets basketball game (AP).

Donaghy Receives Prison Sentence, but Scandal Isn’t Over

July 29, 2008 08:01 PM
by Denis Cummings
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months for gambling on NBA games and providing inside information to gamblers.

30-Second Summary

Tim Donaghy is the center of a gambling scandal that has tarnished the credibility of the NBA and its officiating.

Last July, the New York Post revealed that the FBI was investigating Donaghy for supplying information to professional gamblers, betting on games he refereed and manipulating their outcomes. Donaghy pled guilty to two felony gambling counts in August and began cooperating with the FBI’s investigation.

Donaghy has insisted that there are other corrupt referees in the NBA and accused the league of fixing games. NBA commissioner David Stern has maintained that Donaghy is a “rogue, isolated criminal.”

The sentencing ends the investigation of Donaghy, but the NBA still must deal with the scandal that has tarnished its image. Many writers believe the league must enact reforms to clean up its image among fans, who doubted the integrity of the NBA’s officiating even before the Donaghy scandal.

The league is awaiting the results of an investigation by former federal prosecutor Lawrence Pedowitz into the league’s officiating. The report was scheduled to be released after the Donaghy sentencing, but it has been pushed back.

There are rumors that Donaghy, who needs money to pay legal fees and restitution, may write a tell-all book similar to Jose Canseco’s “Juiced.” Like Donaghy, Canseco was considered a pariah in his sport, but his book about baseball’s steroid use led to widespread reform.

“I’m hopeful that, at some point, the true facts of this case will be told,” said Donaghy’s attorney John Lauro. “This story has not ended.”

Headline Link: Donaghy receives 15-month sentence

Background: The Donaghy investigation

Opinion & Analysis: What happens next?


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