With the final indictments coming today, the Toledo point shaving scandal has moved back into the forefront of the sports news cycle. Let’s take a look back at some of the all-time greats to see where the guys from Toledo stack up.
- 1951 – In 1950, City College won the NIT and the NCAA tournaments. That’s right, both (and the only school to ever accomplish the feat). The next year some of those players, along with 32 players from seven colleges, were indicted for fixing over 86 games between 1947 and 1950. Notably, a referee (also identified in the investigation) who fixed six NBA games was not prosecuted because apparently New York didn’t have a law prohibiting referee’s from fixing games. The more things change, etc….
- 1978-79 – Boston College players are implicated in fixing nine games. Organized crime figure and Goodfellas inspiration Henry Hill masterminds the fix. My favorite quote allegedly attributed to Hill as a motivator for the players, “You can’t play basketball with broken hands.” No you can’t Mr. Hill, sir. What would you like me to do?
- 1984-1985 – John “Hot Rod” Williams and others are accused of shaving points. Two players testify that they shaved points in exchange for cash and cocaine. What, no hookers? Ah…the 80’s (cue “Push It To The Limit”).
- 1994 – Western University Dolphins. Senior guard “Tony” shaves points and is caught by Coach Pete Bell and other staffers. Coach Bell later resigns amid controversy.
- 1997 – Arizona State and Stevin “Hedake” Smith. The point shaving scandal closest to my heart. Fifteen of twenty-two fraternities on campus had ties to the incident. Plus, it spawned Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie starring David Krumholz. Just think, without this movie he would have never landed that starring role in Numb3rs (CBS’ Number One rated show on Fridays at 10 pm featuring a former cast member of the Santa Clause franchise).