Thursday, April 14, 2011

Betting scandal hits a different Catholic school

For those who have not been following the news, the NCAA is investigating University of San Diego's basketball program regarding possible point shaving. Any time this sort of thing pops up, it should send a chill up the spine of any BC fan.

Our basketball betting scandal of the early '80s was one of the more infamous (see Goodfellas and the SI cover). While the school recovered quickly, the legacy of that is still with us today because of the football scandal of the '90s. The football problem is especially momentous for me since I was a student at the time. TOB reminded the whole world of it in every media interview, so now gambling is tied to our sports reputation. Since then, things have been fairly serene when it comes to BC sports. My fear though is that we are so removed from the past scandals that another gambling issue could pop up again. In the NYT article linked early, a gambling expert speculates that as many as 30 NCAA basketball games a year could be impacted by shaving. Sadly I find that number perfectly believable. Even if it is not that commonplace, BC needs to pay extra attention to point shaving. If we were ever caught up in a third betting scandal, things would be terrible. Other programs would use it against us, some fans would stop supporting our players, and the media would tie us to gambling forever. Let's hope we have the right kids in place and the right adults monitoring their performance. Now just be glad that we are not San Diego.


Bravesbill said...

We should also be thankful that BC didn't go from beating UConn in the NCAA Tournament to becoming the laughingstock of the WCC in 2 years. Looks like all the schools I've gone to have been involved in point-shaving. Awesome

mod34b said...

ATL -- sleep deprivation can lead to paranoia, and late night blogging makes it worse. :~)

"Any time this sort of thing pops up, it should send a chill up the spine of any BC fan."

"BC needs to pay extra attention to point shaving"

Really? Huh?

Why make this giant leap in associating with BC a cheating scandal that has ZERO to do with BC.

The 1980s thing was an aberration fuelled by the fricking mafia! THE MAFIA. A total abberation. The 1990s 'scandal' was BS -- 2 guys betting on BC games -- more knuckleheads in action than an instituational issue.

But seriously this kind of paranoid negative assocaiting BC sports and gambling scandals is the stock in trade of BC haters like ESPN's Bill Simmon (and what a dirtbag he is) see Here

If you keep repeating this sort of thinking, the media and general will keep perpetrauting it too. BC deserves better.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Good stuff. I especially like the large inflatable arch.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Here's the link again, broken up into shorter pieces:

mod34b said...

BC Double -- here is an easier way

---- Click Here -------

BCDoubleEagle said...

Thanks. How do you do that?

mod34b said...

Here is how to link to, say,

[a href=""]BClink[/a]

Type exactly as above but replace [ with < and ] with > and you get this


Scoop said...

Another good read about the basketball scandal is a book titled, "Fixed, How Goodfellas Bought Boston College Basketball" by David Porter.

I had season tickets on the floor at Roberts at the time and it was more than obvious when Sweeney and Kuhn went into fix mode. One game I went ballistic when the two were in the midst of throwing the Holy Cross game. I yelled at Sweeney, who was no more than 10 feet from me, to stop throwing the game. He looked at me in horror, as if he had been found out.

He proceeded to throw the next pass away and then let Ronnie Perry have an extra 5 feet of room for an uncontested jumper off a pass he could have easily picked off.

Frankly, I'm surprised more betting scandals haven't been discovered given the economic situations of many of today's players. The SD affair is probably the tip of the iceberg.

PJeagle said...

You're right about TOB. That self serving ninny never missed a opportunity to try to deify himself by implying that he raised BC from the dead and from the dregs of the"gambling scandal." As far as "scandals" go, this was small potatoes, and would be a footnote in history if it wasn't for fools like TOB who used the situation to perpetuate his own misplaced ego.

blist said...

you guys make the 90s betting scandal sound like two doofuses betting in a casino. It involved regular students and the NY mob too - it was pretty serious and it brought up the topic of killing BC football altogether.

mod34b said...

Blist... The 1996 football 'scandal' was bupkis:

Here is an entry from wiki:

"[edit]Gambling scandal
Boston College's Cody Williams earned some negative press in 1996 when news broke that some football players had bet against BC in a bad loss on October 26 to Syracuse. After the 45-17 beating by the Orangemen, word leaked out to Head Coach Dan Henning that several players may have bet against the team in the game, and the coach subsequently told the university administration. Following an investigation by the university and law enforcement officials, 13 players would be suspended from the team for the season for placing illegal bets — six permanently from the football program.[citation needed] As a result of the scandal and a mediocre 16-19-1 record as coach, Henning resigned at then end of the 1996 season."

blist said...

Mod34b, I don't want to make this bigger than it was either, but I knew some of the folks involved, so maybe it never became public (I'm sure it was though), but it was messier than what Wikipedia says. Maybe not directly to the football team, but one degree of separation to some unsavory Queens-based mobsters. That said, the BC guys weren't bad hats, just caught up in a situation that got out of hand. That's why betting is a bad thing and banned from college and pro sports.

JBQ said...

It is alleged that the ringleader for the BC scandal was a former ND kicker by the name of Prendergast, I believe. Also, the University of San Diego is causing some waves in theology circles for dissidence against Church teaching.