Blog Entry

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Posted on: October 29, 2009 3:51 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2009 4:48 pm
The NBA will investigate additional allegations by disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy that were scheduled for publication in a book that has been spiked by its publisher.

In the book excerpts, which have been published online, Donaghy offered more details of alleged game manipulation by other referees. The NBA and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York investigated Donaghy's initial claims and did not find anyone else culpable.

Elizabeth Ventura, the NBA's senior vice president of communications, issued the following statement to and other news outlets:

"In 2008 Mr. Donaghy's allegations were thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office. We are reassured that the U.S. Government completed its investigation finding that the only criminal conduct was that of Mr. Donaghy.

"We take any question regarding the integrity of our game extremely seriously. At the time Mr. Donaghy’s crimes came to light, we appointed Lawrence B. Pedowitz, a former Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney's office of the Southern District of New York, to lead a comprehensive independent review of the NBA's officiating program. Mr. Pedowitz's review revealed that the NBA’s core values of neutrality and accountability were not compromised by anyone other than Mr. Donaghy.

"As with all allegations concerning the integrity of our officiating program, these latest assertions by Mr. Donaghy will be turned over to Mr. Pedowitz for a complete review."

Donaghy was sentenced to prison time in 2008 after pleading guilty to federal wire fraud charges. Donaghy was accused of betting on NBA games, including those he worked, and tipping off high-stakes gamblers with inside information.

UPDATE: Robert Nardoza, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, declined to comment on whether federal authorities were re-opening their investigation. No criminal charges have been filed against any NBA employee other than Donaghy. "We saw the article," Nardoza said, referring to news that Donaghy's publisher had pulled the book amid fears of legal action. "Beyond that, I'm not going to comment."

Donaghy's tell-all, "Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA," was scheduled for publication later this month by Triumph, a division of Random House. Despite news reports to the contrary, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league "never threatened a lawsuit or anything else."

In the excerpts, Donaghy cut a wide swath through the ranks of his former colleagues, naming names and offering details on how other officials allegedly manipulated games. Many of the details mirrored those he gave to federal prosecutors as part of his plea negotiation.

According to a person directly involved in the NBA's probe conducted by Pedowitz, all the referees named in the excerpts from Donaghy's manuscript were interviewed during the initial investigation -- in some cases, numerous times. 

“The National Basketball Referees Association is disappointed, but not surprised, with the actions taken by Tim Donaghy," referee spokesman Lloyd Pierson said in a statement. "This continues to be the Tim that we know. He repeatedly attempts to highlight himself in the media, but the 59 NBA referees will continue to officiate games with the utmost integrity and the focus will remain on the 2009-2010 NBA Season.”

The story isn't over; it never is with Donaghy. No doubt he will find another publisher, or self-publish the book, and the storm will gather again.

I don't know how thoroughly Donaghy's claims were investigated at the time, or whether these new allegations will draw the attention of federal authorities. I don't know whether Donaghy is telling the truth or not. I wasn't there; Donaghy himself wasn't present for some of the improprieties he alleges.

What I do know is that this sad chapter in NBA history will have more postscripts.

Category: NBA
Tags: Tim Donaghy

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: October 30, 2009 10:47 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims


Since: Sep 21, 2007
Posted on: October 30, 2009 10:45 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I think Donaghy is dead on.......
This is a much bigger problem than the NBA wants to be let known, and it will probably never be known because Stern will bury it.

I have been a Lakers fan since the age of 5 (1975) and am diehard about watching the games.  The one game that Donaghy constantly talks about was back when LA beat Sacramento earlier this decade in the qwestern conference finals.  I was ever so stoked that LA pulled off the victory and went to the finals.  But I went back last year and watched the game again, and I will be the first to admit that Sacramento gotted screwed.  The number of no calls/bad calls against Sac was just so blatant.  Donaghy specifically talks about that game and that it was fixed from the start, and watching it again I would have to say he is dead on.  The refs were giving the game to LA. 

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2009 10:15 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

that was an illuminating post from NBC about the Philly connection. Donaghy said early on that the NBA had "company men" in the refs, and it would make sense if you took a couple young guys with their whole careers ahead of them and elevate them fast so they had too much to lose to ever go against the company. It's how they do things in corrupt politics and dirty cop scams from the 50s-70s.

This is the biggest story in sports. Forget steroids. Every sports reporter should be on this. If they can find one more confirmed game-throwing ref, it'll open a formal congressional investigation and Stern goes behind bars, as he should, for throwing games, for fixing drafts, and for manipulating team relocations like Seattle. Stern's gotta go down.

Since: Dec 19, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 10:10 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

You must understand that a few points shaved here or there is all that is needed. Outcomes have been fixed by the whistle and we already know that because a referee went to prison for it. So you don't believe in reality. Ofcourse the NBA wants the big market teams to win it but they don't care necessarily which one it is. All the owners are hoping for is to make money in the smaller market team category. It makes sense because we know for certain it happened even if we only have proof of one guy, that is enough to say this isn't a conspiracy theory. Why would Donaghy put a book out there and risk a slander lawsuit unless he is telling the truth. The NBA will not sue him because then people would have to testify and records of phone calls would be investigated and in the end they would lose. Donaghy knows this and so he writes this book knowing who's telling the truth and wholla, no lawsuit! Basketball will always be at the mercy of the refs, whether we talk about college or pro. Every wiseguy knows this and thats why the fix will be in. It may not be every game, but it only takes one game a night and who knows which refs or games it will be. Finally, this is not Stern or the NBA fixing or shaving these games, this is outside sources that have connections to certain refs.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2009 8:44 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

It's not just you; there are a lot of conspiracy theory idiots in the world.  The NBA wants this cleaned up more than anybody.  What would they gain by allowing fixed games to continue?  They only lose. They have had every motivation to investigate this thoroughly and, by all accounts, they have. 

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2009 7:36 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Oh look, a Lakers fan whose own megastar SG gets preferential treatment by the same people he's trying to defend. How shocking?!! The NBA has been fixed for a long time. watch the 1:25 mark of this video. Watch that and HONESTLY tell me the Lakers deserved to go to the finals in 2002. Without the refs the Lakers would've gotten STOMPED in that game 6.

In that 3rd one Kobe elbows Bibby in the face with 12 seconds left and there was no call.

I'm willing to bet you won't watch the footage, you wouldn't want to be proved wrong that this stuff has been going on. The proof is in those links you won't bother looking at. The same team you cheer for who has won all these titles wouldn't have AT LEAST 1 of them if it wasn't for the refs helping them get there in the first place.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2009 7:35 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

What needs to be investigatoed is how that man with wooden teeth, David Stern, sat back and played puppet as the NBA franchise in Seattle was moved.

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 5:49 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

their, not they're, sheesh I hate it when people make that typo, and I did it myself

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 5:47 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

First I want to say that I don't care or have an opinion either way however I tend to lean towards no conspiracy.  But the posters point was that why isn't there more parity in a sport where the teams are made up of fewer players.  You just reiterated that point and kind of proved his theory with your statements about 1 player being able to carry they're team deep into the playoffs.  If this is true then why hasn't this happened with a greater amount of teams throughout the years?  Again I don't necessarily believe that there is a conspiracy but this would be fairly odd if it were true that one great player can advance a team deep in the playoffs.  (personally I don't believe that)  What I do believe is that some 'superstars' not teams get the preferential calls.  This in turn takes out the small market vs large market debate.  (by the way that was a very great point you made to dispute that yourself)  However most casual fans will follow the big name players regardless of where they play so I don't believe that even if there is a conspiracy (doubtful) that it has anything to do with market size but more to do with the players themselves that draw interest.  Just my thoughts, of course no proof =)

Since: Jul 10, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2009 2:45 am

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Ironcitydy, give us an example.  Explain to us how that works other than saying "It's obvious, I don't have to.  If you don't see it, you are stupid."

Yes, the Marlins have, recent sucess, but what does that mean or prove?  San Antonio is the  second most successful franchise in the NBA this decade and they play in a smaller market than any of the cities you mentioned.

The NBA has not changed since the beginning.  Unlike baseball, where the star player comes up every nine at bats or football, where the star QB or RB or who ever only has so much influence on the team because the teams are so large, basketball has always been dominated by 1 star player out of the 5 starters on the court.  That's not just true for the NBA, but also for college.  When the NBA started, George Mikan with the Minneapolis Lakers became the most dominant player in the game and gave the Lakers the most championships.  Then Russell came along in the 60s and dominated with the Boston Celtics.  The 70s was different where you had an aging Wilt give the Lakers two championships while each year 8 other teams won in the finals.  The 80s was domnated by Bird and Magic.  The 90s saw MJ and the Bulls take most of the championships, with Detroit taking the last year of 80s and first of 90s.  Texas had Houston and San Antonio take the other 3.   This decade had Detroit, the Lakers and San Antonio with their star players.

But unlike baseball and football, basketball can have one player dominate a team. (That explains why Lebron can take his crap team deep into the playoffs, while Alex Rodriguez needs a great team to even make the playoffs in baseball.)  Much like tennis, track and field where one players seems to dominate the sports because they rely less on other player.  Hockey does these to a greater extent that football and baseball, but less that basketball.  Boxing does the same as baskeball--dominant player dominates the sports.

You can come up with conspiracies on why basketball doesn't produce the same winners as baseball and football.  But you should understand the difference.  Tennis comes up with the same winners, but is that a conspiracy?  Players dominating in tennis is not new, just as teams dominating in the NBA is not new.  So, stop trying to pretend it's a new invention by David Stern and the result of a conspiracy.  San Antonio is one of the smalles markets in the leaguea they knew how to win before Ducan arrive. Stop trying to make excuses on why your team loses.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or