NBA Referee Tim Donaghy - Strong Evidence of Game-Fixing

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NBA Referee Tim Donaghy - Strong Evidence of Game-Fixing


Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy actually bet on the games he officiated, but hard numbers suggest he did more than that.

Las Vegas, Nevada (5/17/08) - As more information is released on the Tim Donaghy sports betting scandal, the more incriminating the facts become. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Goldberg said in a letter filed Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on about 14 games that he personally officiated during the 2006-07 season.

Compare that admission to the following fact: The first 15 games of the 2006-07 refereed by Tim Donaghy that had big enough betting to move the point spread by at least 1.5 points were UNDEFEATED against Las Vegas meaning that the big money gamblers won a 15 of 15 times on his games. The odds of that happening randomly are 32,768 to 1 said RJ Bell of

Tim Donaghy officiating style statistically changed during the 2005/06 and 06/07 seasons. During the two years prior (i.e., 03/04 and 04/05) he called significantly less fouls than the average NBA referee (his games scored more than Las Vegas expected only 44% of the time). During his last two seasons he called significantly more fouls than average (his games scored more than Las Vegas expected 57% of the time). The odds of this change happening randomly are approximately 19 to 1.

Now consider what must be believed in order to conclude that Tim Donaghy did not fix the games that he both officiated and bet on: first, that a person troubled enough to provide inside information to criminals was able to referee games in which he had a financial interest in the outcome without any bias. We also must believe that information alone allowed big bettors to beat Las Vegas 15 straight times. And finally we must believe that Donaghy becoming a much more active referee his final two years is a mere coincidence rather than evidence of an effort to increase his influence on games.

Keep in mind that a single call can affect the outcome of a pro basketball game. During the 06/07 season alone, 13 games refereed by Tim Donaghy fell within A SINGLE POINT of the Las Vegas point spread. In his final two seasons as a referee, the winner of 14 NBA games refereed by Donaghy was decided by a single bucket or less.

RJ Bell of said: "Over 50 BILLION dollars is gambled on the NBA each season. If not a single call was affected by Donaghy's bets, then we have the whole story. But if calls were affected, the true story is one of game-fixing, and thus much bigger."

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About RJ Bell of
RJ Bell, president of, has been featured on CBS News with Katie Couric, ABC News with Charles Gibson, Nightline, Sportscenter, Outside the Lines (ESPN), First Take (ESPN2),, ESPN National Radio, Yahoo,, and in Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, LA Times,, Maxim, and Forbes.


  • Mike and Mike segment audio:

  • this is statistical b.s. there are 3 offiicials to every crew. so 33% of a crew created a 100% outcome to a game.?while possible, that % is as likely as the "crucial" evidence represented above. until they give hard "i did it" evidence to a 3 person crew all these stats mean little. also, the way his foul calling changed thru his tenure could represent what is stated above, but also these stats could simply mean he has been evaluated over each year and that is an employee trying to show improvment.  44% to 57% represents significant change? the numbers goes up but damn it sounds like someone wet behind the ears learning the ropes to his profession. this man admitted to cheating, but lets not try and create statistical b.s. as 'hardcore' evidence until the man breaks down how the fix was actually in. breaking spreads by minimul points doesn't mean 1 ref out of 3 enabled more foul shots so certain players can miss or make at the line. do you understand the probability of that mathmaticians...on 15 straight games or what have you? seems highly unprobable! also winning 15 straight games in a row is how much to never happen. damn. 32,000 and change. does anyone out there have patience. i promise if you sit on your hands for a month you'll see thers's a few wins every week that scream your name. bet appropriately and then have patience again for the next must win you itchin mofos. i'm not sayin 15 straight ar ein the cards but these numbers are crap. nothing wrong with 4 to 5 in a row, 1 loss, than another 4 to 5 run and keep duplicating. 19 to 1 a ref changes thru the years to improve his profession. give me a break  where are all the other overwhelming stats not all the other refs? there's multiple crews so  let's see individual ref's stats as they matured thru the years in the league compared to mr. fix and then lets see crew' s stats as well with timmy d.'s  usual crew numbers to compare with. put all that effort into those b.s. stats and this article into actual info worth noting. also, if espn dip sh... quoted you, that can't mean a lot towards your street cred...never promote yourself as a cut above the rest if network media quotes you...especially mike and mike...ugh.

  • dumasses who said he should post his fixed games on Pregame. Think about what you just said. If you were him, your gonna tell everyone what to bet. Then it comes thur? errrr... besides its pts shaving. Vegas is hard enough without a crooked ref. Grow up and get some class.

  • no surprise here. like lgjr1 said, wish he would have posted his plays on here. that would have been awsome!

  • Hey Stern! How about returning those technical foul fines you collected from his game fixing officiating. As you say when he takes a bribe or makes a bet he loses the benefit of the doubt.

  • what a surprise. I don't know about anybody else but it was hard to believe from the start that  Timmy wasn't fixing this games. You got money on a game (or stand to gain 5000 or whatever if the game goes the way you want it) and you are officiating the game. You think you are not going to be biased? Yeah right

  • who took the action

  • Picked up by DeadSpin!

  • I wonder if he was on the crew working the Timberwolves/Lakers  playoff series a few years back.  The Wolves  got fucked hard in a couple of those games,  they were clearly outplaying the Lakers (and the announcers said as much)   but the Wolves were getting called for fouls on both ends of the court,  it was as if the refs were doing everything in their power to make sure the Lakers won,  which, in the end, they did.    Minnesota had the better team that year,  and probably would have won the Championship had they gotten past L.A.  

    That's not just me being a homer... I'll admit that the Wolves haven't had a legitimate shot since that year,  but at the time, they were for real.