For the 1951 point-shavers, a life lived in infamy
In 1951, a series of point-shaving and cheating scandals rocked college sports. Wright Thompson looks at the lives since then of some of the athletes who were caught.
Bill Spivey died in Costa Rica, mostly alone, a damaged man. He withdrew, never really getting over the scandal that took his future. He didn't like to come back to Kentucky those last years and didn't want to do so even in death. His ashes, he requested, should be scattered in two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific, far from the bluegrass fields of his youth.Once, he'd been a 7-foot dominator for the Wildcats, a surefire NBA star. Then came the accusations of point-shaving at Kentucky. And though a perjury case for refusing to testify against his teammates was dismissed, the NBA banned Spivey -- along with Alex Groza and Ralph Beard, who were convicted of receiving money from gamblers to shave points -- for life. That was that. The heartbreak followed him around Kentucky, then down to Central America. "There was no question," says former UK athletic director C.M. Newton, Spivey's college roommate, "it was a burden Bill carried to his grave." In Bill's world, it was always 1951. A lot happened that year. Truman fired MacArthur. Dale Earnhardt was born. McCarthy went after the communists. But perhaps the biggest events conspired to change the way sports fans would view their games forever. In 1951, sports lost their innocence.
CHEAT WAVE '07
Over the next two days, ESPN.com examines the recent wave of sports cheating and assesses the damage done to our trust in the games we watch. Cheat Wave
Perspectives• Drehs: Answer to cheating lies within
• Future cheats: Stem cells and gene dopers
• Helyar: When owners cheat owners
• Fish: Jose Canseco's online pharmacy primer
• Merrill: Playing unfair at the fair
• Vote: Are the rules of golf golden?
Introduction• Drehs: Cheating raises serious questions for sports
• Forde: We love 'em and can't leave 'em
• Timeline: Hot Spots Through the Years
Your Voice• Vote: Are you a habitual cheater?
• Vote: What does cheating mean to you?
Baseball• Crasnick: Call it cheating, or call it gamesmanship
• Neyer: Baseball's top 10 cheaters of all time
• Thompson: Shoeless Joe's redemption
• SportsNation: What separates cheating from strategy?
• How do you cork a bat?
• Dale Murphy chat wrap
Football• Chadiha: Players look to gain an edge almost any way they can
• Notorious image sticks with Raiders
• Cheating anecdotes: College football
• SportsNation: Cheating or gamesmanship?
Basketball• Thorpe: It's survival of the fittest in the NBA
• Cheat Wave: Pushing the Envelope
• Cheat Wave: Pushing the Envelope 2
• David Thorpe chat wrap
• Cheating anecdotes: College basketball
• Thompson: Point-shavers, a half-century later
NASCAR• Newton: Cheating might be a dirty word, but so is losing
• Blount: Cheating in NASCAR? You be the judge
• Newton: Evernham forces NASCAR's hand
• McGee: Bill France Sr. vs. the mob
Hockey• Burnside: The NHL's cheat sheet
• Burnside: Competition committee is league's best line of defense
Page 2• Zumsteg: "Cheater's Guide to Baseball"
Tennis• Garber: Players police themselves in tennis
• Inside the ATP Gambling Scandal
Golf• Harig: Golf's honor code limits 'cheating' incidents
• Sobel: Ten famous rules invocations in golf history