It is now clear that we’ve hit rock-bottom in regards to the replacement referees. Because whenever disgraced NBA official, Tim Donaghy begins questioning the replacement refs’ integrity, things probably can’t get much worse.
Donaghy joined 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh to discuss the replacement refs, but he also explained the potential integrity issues they could be knowingly or unknowingly causing. Especially when it comes to gambling.
What are your thoughts on whether the replacement officials could be more susceptible to being involved with gambling?:
“I think the bottom line is these guys are being put in a situation where they really know the insides of the NFL in these meetings before these games. The regular referees would meet on Thursday and Friday and Saturday before a game on Sunday and they would discuss different things. These referees are now being privy to the fact that maybe this week they may be cracking down on the Atlanta Falcons for holding because in the prior weeks there were several calls that were missed against them … and they were showed that through a film session. When you know some inside information like that and you know your buddy … is a big-time gambler and you, knowingly or unknowingly, pass that information along to him, that’s stuff that’s big-time information to gamblers.”
What other information might they have that would be of particular interest to gamblers?:
“The bottom line is your showed film and maybe there’s a holding by defensive backs that needs to be cracked down on by certain teams. Through film sessions and through viewing this, you know it’s going to take place this Sunday because you’re being told to do it by somebody who’s writing a check for you. … Guys in the gambling business and the gambling industry love to have that type of information.”
“No doubt about it, if they’re refereeing a game associated with their team, most likely they’re going to be in a position to throw a flag a lot quicker in favor of that team versus not in favor of that team. It definitely questions the integrity of what’s taking place when they’re on the field and they’re in a situation where they’re rooting for or against their favorite team while they’re actually refereeing their game.”
Donaghy isn’t the most trustworthy person on Earth, but he definitely knows the world of sports gambling. And since a half-billion dollars changed hands on one call alone last night, his concerns aren’t something that should just be swept under the table.