Cover for figone: Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball. Click for larger imageThe January 26, 2013, edition of NPR’s syndicated program Only a Game featured an interview with Albert Figone, author of the University of Illinois Press book Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball.

From the Only a Game website:
Everybody knows people gamble on college sports, but few have collected evidence of that phenomenon as energetically as has Albert Figone. . . . Figone has collected chronicles of fixes, point-shaving scandals, and various other sketchy endeavors occurring at schools large and small, most of them over the past 70 years. Some fixes, like the ones at Arizona State and the University of Georgia during the ‘90s, were masterminded by student bookmakers. Others, such as the Boston College basketball scandals of the late ‘70s, have seen players working with professional gamblers. And some grand embarrassments, such as the scandals that brought the University of Michigan, Southern Methodist, and Miami into the headlines, have involved the generous fellows who bankroll some of the nation’s most accomplished teams, the boosters:

“If you’re a booster in sports, football or basketball, you’re in control of the program and the university kind of sits back and kind of watches the boosters as they control what’s going on,” Figone said. “And there’s evidence of that in many places.”

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