Friday, July 20, 2007

Hey, Ref, who's paying you to make calls like that?

Reffing NBA games is tough--a foul probably occurs on every play, so what ends up happening is referees let some fouls go without being called, and you hope that the referees are just consistent in the calls that they do make. As a fan, it can be unbelievably frustrating to see on a replay a foul that isn't called, especially since you don't really see all the other (similar) fouls that were also not called since replays of those plays were not necessarily shown.

With all that discretion, referees have a huge ability to impact a game. The possibility of a ref intentionally influencing a game is a major problem, an act that could fundamentally threaten the integrity of games. According to this report, NBA point-shaving no longer seems like a bad possibility, it appears that it has very likely already occurred over the past two seasons. Most likely, the point-shaving will have impacted the betting outcome and not the winner of a game, but that doesn't make the cheating any less serious. I'll post updates on this story as I see them.

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