Monday, August 13th, 2012 at 10:25 am  |  18 responses

Former NBA Referee Tim Donaghy Asks Judge to Shorten Probation Sentence

Notorious referee Tim Donaghy, who in 2008 was sentenced to 15 months in prison for fixing basketball games, has asked a judge to cut three months from his 36-month probation term. Donaghy reportedly made the request so he can resume working for a radio show that promotes, um, sports gambling. From the NY Daily News: “He made the audacious request Tuesday before Brooklyn Federal Judge Carol Amon, who sentenced the ex-ref to 15 months in prison in 2008. ‘There is no useful purpose or need for the supervision,’ Donaghy wrote to Amon. The judge had ordered Donaghy to end his employment last month with the Philadelphia-based radio show ‘Sports Connection’ upon disclosures that the show’s host, ‘Danny Burelli,’ wasn’t who he said he was. Donaghy’s probation officer discovered that the host was in fact Daniel Biancullo, who has a 2004 federal conviction in Florida for gambling and a 1991 conviction in New Jersey for cocaine possession. Donaghy claimed he was clueless about Biancullo’s past, according to court papers. Donaghy claims he has had difficulty finding work since his release from prison, and he said his book ‘Personal Foul’ hasn’t delivered expected profits. On ‘Sports Connection,’ Donaghy can be heard dispensing an analysis of NBA games. The Philly show also airs nationwide on the Internet.”

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  • Purveyor of fine things

    dude gets caught fixing games and gambling while being employed as a ref. Gets jail time, wants early release from probation to work on a radio show dispensing gambling advice because he is not able to earn a living by writing about how he gambled.

    If you can find sympathy you are a bigger man than I

  • FnF

    Why is it that sports gambling is frowned upon but bingo, state lotterys, and poker are socially acceptable?

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Can the judge give C. Web, Divac, Doug Christie and Mike Bibby and ‘em the ‘chip they were robbed out of?

  • silebyboy

    Mike Bibby?

  • Mike
  • http://www.bustersbb.com New Allenp

    In addition, a foul was called against Mike Bibby of the Kings after he was shoved and elbowed by Kobe Bryant, denying the Kings an opportunity to try for a tying basket. Also in that game, Kings centers Vlade Divac and Scot Pollard fouled out, and Kings coach Rick Adelman was highly critical of the officiating afterward.

    “My first thought [upon hearing Donaghy's allegation] was: I knew it,” Pollard said Tuesday night. “I’m not going to say there was a conspiracy. I just think something wasn’t right. It was unfair. We didn’t have a chance to win that game.”

    The Lakers went on to win the 2002 NBA championship.

    The letter apparently comes in response to the NBA’s claim that Donaghy pay $1 million in restitution to cover the cost of the league’s private investigation. Donaghy’s legal team is trying to demonstrate his cooperation with a federal government investigation before he is sentenced on July 14 on felony charges of taking cash payoffs from gamblers and betting on games himself.

    The document references other alleged improprieties that Donaghy disclosed to federal law enforcement officials. Among them:

    • “Tim gave information on how top executives of the NBA sought to manipulate games using referees to boost ticket sales and television ratings,” the letter reads. “He also described how nepotism played a far greater role than qualifications in a number of referee hirings.”

    • “Tim explained the league officials would tell referees that they should withhold calling technical fouls on certain star players because doing so would hurt ticket sales and television ratings,” the letter adds. “As an example, Tim explained how there were times when a referee supervisor would tell referees that NBA Executive X did not want them to call technical fouls on star players or remove them from the game. In January 2000, Referee D went against these instructions and elected a star player in the first quarter of the game. Referee D later was privately reprimanded by the league for that ejection.”

    • In addition to game-altering allegations, Donaghy’s letter claims that many officials carry on “relationships” with team executives, coaches and players that violate their NBA contracts. For example, it said, referees broke NBA rules by hitting up players for autographs, socializing with coaches, and accepting meals and merchandise from teams.

    “Tim described one referee’s use of a team’s practice facility to exercise and another’s frequent tennis matches with a team’s coach,” the letter says.

    • The letter also alleges that during a 2005 playoff series, “Team 3 lost the first two games in the series and Team 3′s Owner complained to NBA officials. Team 3′s Owner alleged that referees were letting a Team 4 player get away with illegal screens. NBA Executive Y told Referee Supervisor Z that the referees for that game were to enforce the screening rules strictly against that Team 4 player. Referee Supervisor Z informed the referees about his instructions. As an alternate referee for that game, Tim also received these instructions.”

    During the 2005 postseason, Mavs owner Mark Cuban did in fact complain after his team lost to the Houston Rockets in the first two games of their series, and Dallas went on to beat Houston in seven games. Jeff Van Gundy, then the coach of the Rockets, said that an NBA official had told him about the league’s plan to closely monitor moving screens by Yao Ming, and Van Gundy was ultimately fined $100,000 for his comments regarding the situation. Van Gundy later backed off his comments.


    • Tim Donaghy, right, claims that other referees were involved in altering NBA games.

    • The Donaghy legal team addresses the NBA’s claim that he must pay $1 million restitution.

    Stern said he had not yet read the letter filed on Donaghy’s behalf, but that portions of it had been read to him.

    “My reaction to Donaghy’s lawyer are that clearly as the date of sentencing gets closer, and the things that he’s thrown against the wall haven’t stuck, he’s rehashing a variety of things that have been given to the U.S. Attorney and the FBI, fully investigated, and are baseless,” Stern said. “We have been asked to cooperate for the last year by providing people and answering questions, and we’ve done that. And our understanding is that the investigation is just about wrapped up waiting for the sentencing of Mr. Donaghy, and as he continues desperately to somehow get out of the fact that he is subject to a longer sentence possibly than his co-conspirators, there are this continuing flow of allegations from, don’t forget, an admitted felon. So they’re baseless.”

    Also Tuesday, Lakers coach Phil Jackson was asked about the allegations regarding Game 6 of the 2002 series against Sacramento.

    “Was that after the fifth game, after we had the game stolen away from us after a bad call out of bounds and gave the ball back to Sacramento and they made a 3-point shot?” he said. “There’s a lot of things going on in these games and they’re suspicious, but I don’t want to throw it back to there.”

    Jackson also was asked if he agreed with the notion that there were officials that were “NBA company men” who were doing this for the sake of ratings.

    “Only us basketball coaches think that,” Jackson said. “Nobody else can go to that extreme. They referee what they see in front of them. You know, a lot of things have happened in the course of the Tim Donaghy disposition. I think we have to weigh it as it comes out, and we all think that probably referees should be under a separate entity than the NBA entirely. I mean, that’s what we’d like to see probably in the NBA. It would just be separate and apart from it. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

    Lamell McMorris, head of the NBA referees union, also issued a statement:

    “Tim Donaghy has had honesty and credibility issues from the get-go,” the statement reads. “He is a convicted felon who has not yet been sentenced for the criminal conduct he has already admitted to. He may be willing to say anything to help his cause and he may believe these most recent allegations will help his agenda. I’m not aware of any improper conduct by any current NBA referee in the playoffs six years ago or any conspiracy by the NBA to affect the outcome of any game then or now. Frankly we’re tired of Tim Donaghy’s cat and mouse games.”

    Donaghy’s letter said that in the first of several meetings with prosecutors and the FBI in New York in 2007, he named names. He faces up to 33 months in prison.

    Donaghy’s attorney and federal prosecutors declined to comment to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

  • http://www.bustersbb.com New Allenp

    My fault this is easier to read: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3436401

  • FnF

    No one comment should be longer than the article it pertains to. :|

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    did anyone read his book? donaghy’s that is. not the book above my comment

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    Uh im gonna need the “I Aint Reading All That S**t” version of that comment at 1:53

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    When the Shock Exchange watched that game, it was obvious that it was rigged. It was a complete travesty, right up there with the ’72 Olympic Games. Maybe Kobe’s nickname should be Ric Flair Jr (Wooooh Daddy!), because that ‘chip was predetermined.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Mike Bibby has to keep those elbows down. LOL

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Shock Exchange: What happened at the ’72 Olympic games?

  • FnF

    You don’t know what happened at the ’72 Olympics??? The USA team lost on the THIRD attempt of the final play of the game. Read: This miracle on the hardwood was attempted 3 times. The Soviets had to go the length of the floor in 3 seconds. Attempt 1 failed miserably, but time was put back on the clock. Attempt 2 was closer but same result. Attempt number 3, USSR wins 51-50. Team USA refused to accept the silver medals. Those medals are still there waiting to be claimed.

  • alex80

    Arpaio and this phuker to jail for life, period

  • kakaboi69


  • EJ

    Living a lie!

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk Troll

    Tim Donaghy cost Cwebb a Chip, the same way Cwebb cost the othe4 fab4 a title!!! #Karma