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: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:54 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

If it were just the NBA that did the initial investigationt then I might be a little more suspicious.  However, not only did the NBA hire an independant, and very well qualified, investigator, but Donaghy's claims were investigated by the FBI and the US Attorney General's office.  Neither the FBI or the US Atty has/had any reason to "look the otherway" ---look at the publicity they got for prosecuting one referee for wire fraud; why would they pass up the chance to go after multiple defendants for the same thing if they could.

To me, and I may be proved wrong, by it sounds like Donaghy is just throwing around allegations trying to sell a book now that he can no longer earn the nice living he was making as an NBA referee -- this line is telling to me:

Donaghy himself wasn't present for some of the improprieties he alleges.
That right there is a huge red flag on the credibility of the allegations made in a book Donaghy is trying to sell.  A book that says, "I did it, I was the only one who did it" is not nearly as marketable as a book that makes unsupported hearsay allegations about events he did not witness --- plus, I just have a real hard time putting much stock in the allegations of a convicted felon.

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:45 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

REFEREES do rig  games and you all should know that! This game is the game that is mostly controlled by the "whistle. Over and under , spreads are alldetermined by the whistle. Donaghy needs money so , good for him !

Since: Aug 14, 2009
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:44 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

AGREED!! sucks knowing the blazers wont ever get much love...

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:07 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I completely agree with you, Your comment is right on the money.  It makes you look back at games and wonder is that why team B didnt get all the call but team A did.  I just hope this isnt true, because American sports cant take another black eye.  MLB is tainted, NBA has a big question mark.  Just the NHL and NFL, guess I might have to watch MLS soon.

Since: Nov 26, 2007
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:01 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I couldn't agree more. Watching my Bucks up against Phily for the Eastern chamionship was disgusting in the 2000-2001 season. I was in Tennessee at the time and people there kept asking me why the league was so against the Bucks. I thought that myself but didn't say anything being that I was a Bucks fan. Later stats came out about Mutombo not getting called for a foul until game 7, this being one of the most physically aggressive defenders in the league. Lets also not forget they had the coach of the year, sixthman of the year, and the MVP all on their team. Who do think the league wanted to win? That season really ruined the NBA for me.

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:01 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Let me start by saying I am not at all a BB guru and for that matter have no interest in watching if it's not the team I support but I do know the rules and most of the intricacies of the game and I will flat out bet my life on it that the refs in the NBA "DO" intentionally influence the , if not outcome of the game but the ebb and flow of it. Just watch the raptor - cavs game last night and tell me they are not trying to keep it competetive when one team appears to be ready to mail it in = a few horrible calls in a 90 second span and presto they are back in it........3-4 minutes later they are down 14 again and a few more horrible calls to get them back in.....the only teams I don't see being victimzed by this is the Lakers....if they trounce their opponent then they trounce them.......I think it's a little far fetched to believe the gambling issue is widespread but I have said all along the league not only condones the officials trying to keep it exciting but demands it.
I challenged a family member last season to keep this theory in mind while watching a particular game last season ... before it started and he who watches multi games per night including all college games was astonished.

Since: Nov 16, 2007
Posted on: October 29, 2009 5:54 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

LOL. OJ is still looking for the killer of the waiter and ex-wife, too, even from prison.
He justs has to look in the mirror.  I seriously doubt the NBA will be looking in the mirror, though.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2009 5:49 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

I do believe there is some validity in some if not all of his comments and accusations.  The "investigation" that was done is a sham.  The NBA just wants this to go away and have pretty much taken away all of Donaghy's credibility in order for him to be the fall guy.  There is no way in the world that this guy was guilty and operatings without the help of his fellow colleagues.  Just cut the ugly zit away from the pretty face and all is well.  I hope the real truth comes out and exposes the NBA from the top down.

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2009 5:27 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims


Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: October 29, 2009 5:08 pm

NBA to investigate Donaghy's latest claims

Sounds like David Stern is trying to cover something up, like perhaps he directed the officials to manipulate games so that the bigger market teams (aka Los Angeles, Chicago, etc) with the bigger name stars would win key games, all for the advertising dollars.

I've said it once and I'll say it again, I think David Stern is the most corrupt commissioner in all sports worldwide, even more corrupt than some of the European and Asian Soccer Leagues, more corrupt than the East Germans during the Olympics of the late 60's and early 70's.

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