Is a man without integrity adept at sniffing out others who also don’t have any?
Tim Donaghy, the disgraced former NBA referee who was once involved in a game-fixing scandal, told 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh that the NFL’s replacement referees threaten to damage the league’s credibility.
He also said they’re vulnerable to bias.
“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,” Donaghy told The Fan. “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.”
In the interview, which you can listen to here, Donaghy also blasts the NFL’s anti-gambling stance and offers his take on the likelihood of the replacement refs getting involved in gambling.
We’ve provided a few of the highlights of the interview below.
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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.”
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What other information might they have that would be of particular interest to gamblers?
“The bottom line is you’re 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.”
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What are your thoughts on the NFL’s stance on gambling?
“It’s actually comical that they take an arm’s length approach to gambling, because it’s what really made football so popular is the point spreads, the Monday Night Football, getting back even with that last game on Monday night. It’s actually very comical to me that they act like they don’t want anything to do with it. It’s what fuels this industry. If you don’t have gambling and lines on NFL football, it’s nothing but a high school athletic competition.”