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: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2009 8:31 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

What do I find funny (funny as in peculiar) about this?  After I read through these posts I find that the only post that really questions mine is from .  After checking his/her profile I find that they are a Laker fan.  Imagine that!! 

You, and all the other Laker fans seem to always bash me and others when this "conspiracy theory" is presented.  Does anyone else find this peculiar.  I see it with other large market team fans but mostly with Laker fans. 

 you ask why NY doesn't get these same benefits?  It's because they have morons for owners, and an idiot GM who can't assess talent to get an superstars on their team to get the preferential treatment.

Again, Stern is the most corrupt owner in all of sports, PERIOD!  He need to resign before he totally ruins the league worse that it already it.  We need another Larry O'Brien.

Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:51 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I still consider the Mavericks the 2006 NBA champions.  Although I don't think the NBA necessarily wanted Miami to win over Dallas (both are decent-sized markets), they sure as hell didn't want a sweep because that would cost them a ton of money.  The Mavs were cruising towards a 3-0 series lead when the refs started blowing the whistle every time Wade touched the ball.  No one can ever convince me that they weren't instructed to do whatever they could to extend the series.  The villain here, however, is David Stern.  He created this corrupt culture, and the refs aren't likely to bite the hand that feeds them.

For most of my life I have been a big basketball fan, but since the NBA has zero integrity, I actually find myself enjoying the NHL far more than the NBA these days.  Good job ruining a good thing, Mr. Stern!

Since: Jul 5, 2009
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:42 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

If anyone thinks that Donaghy was the only referee involved you are extremely close-minded.
Just go back and watch some NBA games from a couple of years ago and "do the math"
The league is full of thugs and corrupt refs. I can almost guarantee you that there were
some players involved in this! I live in Vegas and they are always out here gambling the night away
on the tables in the casinos. You mean to tell methat they like to gamble so much that they
wouldn't bet on a game they had "information" on!

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:40 pm

It happens in College and the NFL, the fix is in

You know how many NBA games I've seen cheating involved in?? The refs know the spreads, it's very common to get the phantom fouls....Most fixed games are least watched NBA games, games involving teams no one cares about...The refs wouldn't dare fix a Cavs Celtics game because there would be looking into of that...Watch college football and the NFL and you can tell when the fix is in, just looking for holding calls and pass intereference...Holding and pass interference can be called on any and every play so calling a hold or a PI kills drives or keeps drives going...Look at some of the biggest upsets and see the holding calls on the losing happens i've seen it...It's a shame, but the refs are responsible for the outcome of a bunch of games...It happens in highschool, college and professional..

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:34 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

How does one explain how the Lakers were able to obtain Paul Gasol so easily.  The league gave him to LA.  There is no way J. Crittington, K. Brown and two late #1's was enough to acquire an All-Star big man.  Especially when Chicago tried the previous year with lottery picks, expiring contracts and young talent.  Memphis did not even wait to the deadline to see what else was out there.  Stern made the deal for them.  Then look at how many small markets are in the West.  Without the Lakers who will even watch the Finals as far as teams coming out of the West.  Also all you hear about is rating in the NBA.  Do you ever hear people talking about ratings in the NFL?  No, Arizona & Pittsburgh two extremely small markets out rated New York & New England. The NBA has to manufacture interest.  Also can anyone explain why when there is a "franchise type" player in the draft he goes into a good situation and when there are A. Bargnani's at the top bad teams / small market teams get the number one pick then?  Ask yourself.   

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:15 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Here is an excerpt from 

Again Decide for yourself......

I won’t pass any judgment on referees who hid anywhere between 10, 000-100,000 from the IRS, but it does beg the question at the very least, what else would these guys do for money. Here is a little known story by NBC News, which is stunning and has amazingly never been reported as far as I can tell by ESPN, Stephan A Smith or the league lapdog Peter Vescey. The most stunning fact of this following story, will amaze you and I will save it for the end. Here are brief parts of the story-combined- filed by John Walters of soon after the story broke last July:

“Ed T. Rush was hired as an NBA official when he was 24 years old. Joey Crawford began refereeing NBA games at the age of 25. Tim Donaghy, the referee who allegedly bet thousands of dollars on games the past two seasons, became an NBA ref shortly after his 27th birthday. What do these three referees, all of whom have had anything but inconspicuous careers, have in common besides their precocity? All three have Philadelphia roots. In fact, one of the most startling facts to arise from the Donaghy scandal, which the New York Post broke last Friday, is that Donaghy is one of four referees who worked games in the NBA last season to have graduated from the same high school: Cardinal O’Hara in suburban Springfield, Pa….. with all the AAU, high school, junior college and college games that take place each winter, and with every last one requiring officials to work them, isn’t it rather unlikely that one city—Philly—could produce such a bounty of cream-of-the-crop talent?...Is that strange? That four basketball referees from Philadelphia all ascended to the highest level of their profession before their 31st birthday? That Rush would have been the NBA’s Director of Officiating during the time when both Callahan and Malloy (ed. Two other referees from Cardinal O’Hara) were hired? And that even before then, he would have wielded a great deal of influence as one of the league’s true veteran figures?”

While that all in and of itself should give everyone serious concerns, consider that two of the bookies involved in the Donaghy scandal also attended Cardinal O’Hara high school.Now reread what Walters wrote above and tell me everything is kosher in the NBA. 

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:12 pm

NBA Fraud---read this!!!!!!

Here is an expose' done on the NBA with evidence and attribution....decide for yourself

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:12 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

"The NBA’s core values of neutrality and accountability were not compromised by anyone other than Mr. Donaghy."  This is the same "neutraility and accountability" that weren't "compromised" when the NBA felt compelled to fire or suspend a number of their senior refs over downgrading their first class plane tickets to coach and pocketing the proceeds.  Later, they hired back most of these pillars of integrity.  Yet, they think these allegations are baseless?  I mean Jose Canseco is a turd, and yet his assertions wound up being true.  Where there's smoke...

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 7:02 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I am just not a big believer in the whole "NBA is fixed" conspiracy theories.  People want to say the league is fixed so that "favorite" market teams like the Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers, etc will win.  Okay then why did the league let a former powerhouse like the NY Knicks fall so far as just one example.  Why did the Celtics go so long without a championship until season before last?  Second, the simple fact is that the owners would simply not stand for it.....if I own the Bucks, Bobcats, Jazz, Kings, and on and on...knowing how much extra money and exposure comes from winning...why would I sit by and let the league fix games for the Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers, Spurs or whoever?  Why would I let my attendance drop while my team (maybe the Bobcats, Girzzlies, Sonics/Thunder, etc) loses money every year so that the these handful of other owners can make tens of millions of dollars?  Sorry, it just does not make sense.  Do stars sometimes get the "benefit of the doubt" from the officials that a reserve or rookie does not get --- sometimes, yes.  But, is the NBA actively "fixing" games or intentionally favoring certain teams ---I don't think so.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:57 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

"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.”
Right. And all fans will forget the 2002 Lakers-Kings finish. Do I believe Donaghy? More than I believe anyone or anybody associated with the NBA.

Attendance is down. Franchises are going broke. TV ratings down. Anything else enlightening that Donaghy wants to say, I'll listen. Just like Jose Canseco, he may not be revered, but his words are powerful. No wonder the only people who watch the NBA are fantasy geeks.

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