Donaghy situation worsens by the day

Alessandro Roco

A story that broke out by New York Post columnist Murray Weiss on Friday has turned uglier by the day. Tim Donaghy (’89), now a former referee of the National Basketball Association, is caught up in a scandal that has put his own life in danger.

Weiss revealed the details of an FBI investigation alleging that Donaghy had placed bets on several NBA games, some of which he officiated. Donaghy was reported to have controlled the point spread, and it is also believed that Donaghy placed tens of thousands of dollars in bets on games over the past two seasons.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said that league officials were made aware of the allegations on June 20 and that Donaghy resigned on July 9, according to He is expected to turn himself into officials either late this week or early next week, the Associated Press reported.

At approximately 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, Stern held a press conference, addressing the situation.

“This is the most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or commissioner of the NBA,” Stern said. “We take our obligation to our fans in this situation very, very seriously.”

Stern made it clear to the packed audience that he believes that this is “an isolated case.”

“Mr. Donaghy is the only referee alleged to have bet on NBA games and disclosed confidential information to others,” Stern said.

Stern said during the press conference that he felt betrayed on behalf of NBA fans everywhere and that league officials are doing everything they can to work with law enforcement officials to ensure proper actions are taken.

The onset of the allegations placed on Donaghy began in 2005 during an investigation into an unrelated dispute with a neighbor. But, Stern said, when the league conducted its investigation, nothing turned up.

Donaghy’s career-related and legal issues are only one side of the issue. According to the AP, on Tuesday morning, police staked out Donaghy’s residence in Bradenton, Fla. after Donaghy received telephone threats.

A 1985 graduate of Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Donaghy played varsity baseball for Villanova and graduated in 1989. His officiating career began by working Pa. high school games for five years. He then worked for the Continental Basketball Association for seven seasons and was named the head official for the 1993 All-Star game.

Donaghy then served as an NBA referee for 13 seasons from 1994-2007 during which time he officiated over 770 regular season games and 20 playoff games.