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CBS 60 Minutes Donaghy preview part I (overview of the segment)

CBS correspondent Bob Simon’s preview of tomorrow’s Tim Donaghy piece is posted online, as is another of Donaghy’s interview.  (A transcript of each is posted on this blog.)

After viewing the posted previews, I quite seriously question whether anyone at 60 Minutes bothered to look at the substantive court filings in the case.  For instance, in Simon’s preview, he is asked how many games Donaghy bet on during his officiating career, to which Simon oddly replies:

Well, he says be bet on about a hundred games  He won’t say how many of those games he officiated, but he says, ‘A lot,’ and it went on for four years. 

A court filing  in re: Donaghy’s sentencing (which you can quite easily find online quoted on p.23 of the NBA’s Pedowitz Report) states:

“Beginning in or about 2003, and continuing into 2007, Donaghy provided betting recommendations or “picks” on NBA games ― including games he officiated ― to Jack Concannon, who was one of Donaghy’s friends. Donaghy and Concannon bet on approximately 40 games per season…Donaghy temporarily stopped betting with Concannon in December 2006, when . . . Donaghy began dealing with James Battista and Thomas Martino, both of whom Donaghy knew from high school. He resumed dealing with Concannon, however, in approximately February 2007.”

Another court filing (which can also found online quoted on p.26 of the Pedowitz Report) states:

“In the Spring of 2003, Donaghy provided picks for games he refereed on only 2-3 occasions. Over the next three full seasons (2003-2004, 2004-2005, and 2005-2006), however, Donaghy bet on numerous games that he worked. The government’s investigation revealed that Donaghy provided picks for anywhere from 30 to 40 such games for each of those three seasons. During the 2006-2007 season (the time period charged in the information), Donaghy bet on approximately 30 games…”  The government later noted that although Donaghy bet on 30 NBA games during the ’06-07 season, only 16 of those were games he officiated.

So, according to the federal government, the low estimate for Donaghy’s bets on games he officiated = 2 + (30 x 3) + 16 = 108, while the high estimate = 3 + (40 x 3) + 16 = 139.  Why CBS correspondent Bob Simon states flippantly that Donaghy “says he bet on about a hundred games” and that Donaghy “won’t say how many of those games he officiated” is anyone’s guess.

May 2023 Update: Needless to say, all of these issues are examined in detail with supporting evidence in Gaming the Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen.


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