Former ref Tim Donaghy started betting 4 seasons before he was caught by the league
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was first caught for gambling on his own officiated games during the 2006-07 season, but despite popular belief, he actually had been betting four seasons prior to the league’s findings in the matter.
ESPN’s Scott Eden did a deep dive on the Donaghy scandal and traced records along with a trail of connections that linked the former ref to gambling as early as late in the 2002-03 season.
“According to a court document, Donaghy and Concannon placed their first bet on a game Donaghy was refereeing in March 2003 — more than four years and four NBA seasons before he was caught. He started small. In that first March, he bet on only two or three games. The next season, though, the volume rose sharply — he made between 30 and 40 wagers on games he worked. Same with the season after that and the season after that.”
While Donaghy was never charged with “fixing” his own games, he did have the whistle at hand and bet on them, with evidence finding he called more fouls on the teams he was betting against than the ones he bet on.
The underground nature of the matter made it difficult to assert when he really started gambling. Donaghy’s first partner was a friend, Jack Concannon, a Philadelphia insurance salesman that partnered with him in March of 2003 to place their first bet in a game he officiated.
Later on, Donaghy would go on to take a cut out of these bets, one which sparked a chain reaction that would soon set red flags among with bookmakers and bettors of the NBA market.
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