Friday, October 26, 2007

NBA Gambling

The discovery of referee Tim Donaghy has really opened up a Pandora’s Box for the NBA. The NBA and David Stern recently stated that they will be reviewing their policies regarding referees and gambling and will, in fact, lessen the severity and rigidity of those regulations. Their justification seems to be that while a small amount of gambling is alright, institutionalized gambling and habitual gambling is the only thing that has the potential to influence a game.

In my mind, I can't see a reason where being too rigid in this area would be a bad thing. Why create an environment where individuals can test the boundaries? Why introduce loop holes or avenues for corruption to seep in? Why create an environment where those who violate your policies can escape?
In a situation like this, where there are only 56 referees in the NBA, if an individual cannot sacrifice that one part of his life, he shouldn’t be hired. If gambling, in any sense, is so important to them that they cannot abide by strict prohibitive rules then they shouldn't be a ref. We don't have a shortage of people in this country that couldn't step in, wouldn't step in and do as good a job while insuring that the outcome of each game isn't tainted.

David Stern's back is not against wall in the sense that he needs any of these people to continue the league and I think he is sending a message of weakness to his players and the fans. After being so nit-picky about dress codes and player conduct, these actions lack the consistency that he has been trying to establish. As a fan, I don't see how reducing these restrictions would improve the game. As a personnel matter, an area that we fans do not see, this could be sticking point, but from my perspective this move only has the potential to hurt the game.

- The Hokie

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