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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The Top 10 Biggest Betting Scandals in US history

The Top 10 Biggest Betting Scandals in US history

What was the biggest?
Publish Date: 07/05/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

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10) Toledo Rockets Scheme for College Football

In the early 2000s, Toledo basketball and football players were involved in a point-fixing scandal.

Quinton Broussard, the running back of the Rockets, was paid $2,000 by Gary Manni (a Detroit gambler), to fumble a football during the 2005 GMAC Bowl between Toledo and UTEP. Toledo won 45-13. Four former Rockets basketball players and two other football players pleaded guilty in conspiracy. Manni was sentenced among other charges to six years imprisonment for bribing athletes in order to fix games. Check out the top sports betting sites!

9) Northwestern Wildcats Lose Again

Northwestern football was bad enough in the early 1990s without any of its players taking money to try to alter point spreads, ensuring that the Wildcats would fail to coverย college football bettingย lines. But that happened anyway.

The biggest name among several players implicated was Dennis Lundy, who rushed for 1,189 yards as a senior in 1994. He later admitted to betting on five Northwestern games in 1993 and โ€™94 and to fumbling on purpose on the goal line in a 1994 game against Iowa. He won a $400 bet as the fumble helped ensure that Iowa would cover in a 49-13 victory over the Wildcats.

Lundy was sentenced to one month in prison in 1999 after pleading guilty of perjury for lying to a grand jury that was investigating the Northwestern case. In all, four of his teammates were indicted for lying to the grand jury but only Lundy was accused of point shaving. Lundy briefly played in the NFL in 1995.

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8) Paul Hornung and Alex Karras

The precursor to Pete Rose was Hornung and Karras; the difference here was the players were apologetic and admitted they were wrong. It was also found that even though they would bet up to 500 dollars on games, they never bet on a game their teams were playing in. They were each suspended for a year as punishment. The great thing now is with sports gambling legal in a lot of states like New Jersey and New York now things like this are a lot less likely to happen.

7) 1946 NFL Championship Game Chicago Bears vs New York Giants

Alvin Paris, a gambler, was so interested in the 1946 NFL Championship Game between Chicago Bears and the New York Giants. He offered $2,500 each to Giants players Frank Filchock and Merle Hapes to bribe them to throw the game.

Paris was wiretapped by police and evidence was found that he had spoken to the players. Both of the players denied accepting the money. The plot was discovered by Bert Bell, the NFL Commissioner. He suspended Hapes from the league for failing to report the bribery attempt. Filchock was permitted to play. Filchock was terrible, going 9-for-25 for 128 yards with two touchdowns, and six interceptions, and Chicago won 24-14 at New York’s Polo Grounds. At the start of the game, the Bears were a 10-point favorite. Back then, pushes were not returned.

Bellย banned both players but both claimed their innocence and were never charged by police. Filchock was allowed to return to the league in 1950, and he played just one game for Baltimore in that year. Hapes was never allowed to play again in the NFL. Both players died within weeks of each other in 1994. Paris was arrested in 1946 before the title game. He was convicted of bribery in the spring of 1947.

6) Hot Rod Williams Tulane point-shaving scandal

This one was bad enough that the Tulane basketball program was shut down for four years because of it. Of course, since it was the 80’s there was a healthy mix of money, cocaine and 1980s-era bravado; five players were accused of shaving points in two games, all for a shared profit of $17,000. Williams twice went to trial โ€“ the first was declared a mistrial, and the second ended with his acquittal on five counts. He went on to play for 13 years in the NBA.

5) Boston College Goodfella’s

If you loved the movie, Goodfellas will, you are in luck because they are the gangsters that orchestrated the Boston College basketball betting scandal of the late 1970s. Henry Hill, Rocco, and Tony Perla don’t Mazzei were the men behind this scandal. The players were shaving points for the mobsters to cover the spread until the conspiracy unravelled in 1 80 after Hill was arrested by Newcouldn’tate authorities on drug trafficking charges and was subsequently implicated in the Lufthansa heist, which occurred while the point-shaving scheme was underway. Hill tur ed state’s evidence in exchange for avoiding prison and possible execution by Burke and the Lucchese family. While ill was being questioned, FBI agents inadvertently mentioned his frequent trips to Boston around the time of the Lufthansa heist. Hill revealed his involvement in the point-shaving scheme, offering to relate the full story if federal officials would guarantee him complete immunity.

4) CCNY Point-Shaving scandal

In 1951, 32 college basketball players from seven different teams around the country w re busted in a mafia-run point-shaving scheme that hit four New York schools and three out-of-state teams, including Kentucky. It was a significant blow for college basketball as College basketball was starting in the early 50s to take on a more critical role in American sports. It was awful for college basketball in New York, especially since the bulk of the accused players had been on CCNY’s 1950 team, the first team to ever win the NCAA and NIT tournaments in the same season. The scandal destroyed the team โ€” which rivaled the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers for New York sports supremacy at the time โ€” and effectively ended the school’s relationship with big-time sports. Despite an insistence from an always holier-than-thou Adolph Rupp that his boys weren’t involved in such nefarious schemes, Kentucky was banned for an entire season as well, and their penalty should have been much worse than just one year.

3) Tim Donaghy

This one made big-time headlines for a while as Donaghy was an active NBA referee who was caught up in fixing games. It quickly disappeared, though, as I think people don’t want to think about games like this being fixed. Donaghy had bet on NBA games and fed information to other gamblers after falling into debt. If it happened with this one ref, couldn’t this be possible for many others?

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2) Pete Rose

The all-time hit king was banned for life in 1989 for betting on games, something he adamantly denied for over 15 years. He finally admitted to betting while managing the Reds but insisted he never bet on baseball while a player. Never! A few years later, that was proven to be another lie โ€” evidence showed that Rose bet about once a day in 1987, typically for around $2,000. Though he frequently bet on his Reds, Rose vows he never bet against his team, but that is not the issue. If he sometimes bet and sometimes didn’t, the question would then be, was it a signal that he didn’t bet on his team that others should bet against them? Plus, if you are in debt, are you more likely to lose some games for bookies to make those debts disappear? Rose is still banned to this day, and rightfully so!

1) 1919 World Series

The Black Sox scandal is the most well-known as a movie was made about it, and baseball was the biggest sport in America 100 years ago. It turns out that the Sox fixing the Series was the worst-kept secret in baseball even at the time it happened. Before Game 1, the baseball world was atwitter with word that the fix was in, but the commissioner’s office was content to look the other way. Charles Comiskey was a known tight ass when it came to paying his players, and some of those players decided to take matters into their own hands to make a little extra money. It wasn’t until a separate case one year later that the word about 1919 got out. None of the Black Sox was found guilty in court (a rumor suggests that owner Charlie Comiskey and kingpin Arnold Rothstein helped disappear some essential paperwork) but was banned from baseball for life. New Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was brought in to clean up baseball, and he banned the players that played a part in the scandal. Rumors had persisted in the past that regular-season games and even possibly other World Series games had been fixed before 1919. The most significant rumors point to the 1918 World Series being perhaps fixed.

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