60 minutes did a piece on ex-NBA referee, Tim Donaghy, who was convicted of betting on NBA games while he was officiating, some of which he officiated himself. He served 11 months in prison for his actions. In the interview, he made some surprising claims about the NBA. His claims included:
- NBA refs favor certain players and gang up on them by intentionally making bad calls. His example was when a group of refs — including himself — made a series of incorrect calls on Allen Iverson, after he threatened a ref.
- NBA referee supervisors support the ganging up on players.
- NBA refs talk about the players they don’t like and plan to gang up on them when they have their pre-game meeting.
- The NBA tells refs to prolong playoff games and to favor big market teams in order to increase revenue.
Naturally, the NBA commissioner denied these claims and added that Donaghy is a “convicted criminal” who cannot be trusted. Nonetheless, the FBI claims that Donaghy was completely honest when he stated these claims. You can decide who to beleive, but by applying these claims, Donaghy was able to win 80% of his bets.
The big question. Does this exist in baseball and in other sports as well? The recent umping in the playoffs would make you believe that, yes, it does exist. You also can’t take away the human nature, that naturally causes refs to like and dislike players. They are not robots, they are humans. But anyhow, these claims made by Donaghy exceed human nature, and need to be looked into. I want to see an investigation done by an outside team, to see if the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL are influencing the officiating. Because if these things are true, you can pretty much throw away this history of sports.