NBA: Jail for gambling ref
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has been handed a 15-month jail sentence after being found guilty of helping gamblers.
Last Updated: 30/07/08 6:19pm
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has been handed a 15-month jail sentence after being found guilty of helping gamblers and betting on game in which he officiated.
The 41-year-old was given the sentence by US District Court Judge Carol Amon, who also handed out three years probation after he admitted to passing on confidential information to gamblers.
Prosecutors were asking for around double the length of sentence, but Donaghy's cooperation with investigators of the case led to a more lenient punishment.
"I brought shame on myself and my family," Donaghy said.
Donaghy's former school-mates and fellow defendants James Battista and Thomas Martino were jailed for 15 and 12 months respectively last week.
"It could have been a lot worse," said Donaghy's attorney John Lauro.
Whilst the NBA are keen to clear up the matter now that Donaghy has received his sentence, his attorney says the matter is still not over.
During his cooperation with investigators Donaghy said that corruption was more widespread in the NBA.
"The NBA looked at the various games he officiated. They concluded that (match-fixing) simply never took place," Lauro added.
"This story has not ended."
NBA commissioner David Stern has been desperate to label Donaghy as a rogue official acting purely on his own, and he is now looking to put the matter to bed before the start of the new season.
"We anticipate that the judge's sentencing decision, together with the changes we have made to our referee operations staff, will enable us to continue with the improvements we are making to our anti-gambling rules, policies and procedures," Stern said in a statement.
"There is little comfort to be gained from the mandatory prison sentence, especially as it affects Mr. Donaghy's children and their mother, but hopefully the healing process can begin in earnest for all."
Donaghy bet on over 100 NBA games he officiated in, but also claimed that match-fixing took place in the 2002 and 2005 play-offs and pointed the finger at referee Dick Bavetta, who is still officiating today.
Stern has backed Bavetta stating the FBI have investigated the case and have only brought charges on Donaghy.