Congressman requests meeting with Stern to discuss gambling scandal
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of a House subcommittee is requesting a meeting with NBA commissioner David Stern concerning the betting scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghy.
Rep. Bobby Rush, who heads the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, said he is also considering calling a hearing on the matter "should the facts warrant public scrutiny."
"If the allegations prove true, this could be one of the most damaging scandals in the history of American sports," the Illinois Democrat wrote in a letter sent to Stern on Wednesday and released to the press on Thursday.
Donaghy is the target of an FBI investigation for allegedly betting on games, including some he officiated, over the last two seasons. He resigned July 9.
According to a report in the New York Daily News on Thursday, two high school friends of Donaghy's have been identified as bookies in the gambling scandal.
The pair attended Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., with Donaghy, who was a standout on the school's varsity basketball and baseball teams. The newspaper reports that the two bet-takers have exaggerated their Mafia connections.
"They're nobodies," a law enforcement source told the newspaper.
Friday, the New York Times identified one of the men as James Battista, 42, of Phoenixville, Pa.. The Times said that Battista's lawyer, Jack McMahon of Philadelphia, told it that federal prosecutor overseeing the investigation "suggested to him" charges would be brought against Battista.
McMahon confirmed that Battista went to the same high school as Donaghy.
The Daily News reports that Donaghy allegedly told the bookies ahead of time on officiating crews of games they planned to place bets on, the source said.
Federal sources have told the newspaper that Donaghy is expected to surrender to the FBI by next week to plead guilty to gambling charges.
An educator at the school, who requested anonymity, confirmed to the Daily News that feds have identified two alums of the school as the bookies. The educator said both men graduated a few years ahead of Donaghy.
Rush wrote that he appreciated the need for the league to conduct its own investigation and that he would like to meet with Stern at "the earliest appropriate time."
"Unfortunately, fairly or not, the NBA, more than any other professional sport, has been consistently dogged with allegations that league referees needlessly affect the outcomes of games by making bad calls," Rush wrote.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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TIM DONAGHY SCANDAL
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pled guilty to federal felony conspiracy charges alleging that he passed along inside information on NBA games.
Donaghy also alleges that referees helped alter the outcomes of games during the '02 and '05 postseasons.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison in July.
News• Phoenix prosecutor wants federal files
• Donaghy's father says NBA must share the blame
• NBA's disclosure of own probe of officials on hold
• Adviser: Donaghy 'couldn't stop' gambling
• Two ex-classmates of Donaghy get prison time
• Report: Donaghy made calls to fellow ref
• NY prosecutors: Ref 'central' to NBA bet scandal
• NBA's restitution case vs. Donaghy questioned
• Donaghy lawyer: NBA trying to vilify ex-ref
• NBA ups Donaghy restitution figure to $1.4M
• Referee from alleged fixed game to work Game 5
• Ex-referee denies improper officiating claim
• Kings lament Donaghy's claims from 2002
• Report: Federal agents ask ex-ref about Bavetta
• NBA ref responds to Donaghy's 2002 claim
• 2002 playoff game at heart of allegations
• Stern allows some forms of gambling among refs
• NBA refutes report of refs disciplined
• Ex-ref Donaghy forfeits cash as part of plea deal
• Stern defends refs, vows to wait before punishing
• Ex-prosecutor counseled refs during FBI probe
• Attorney to lead review of NBA refs
• Report: Donaghy to talk about other refs
• Donaghy could face state charges
• Donaghy pleads guilty to felony charges | Docs
• Donaghy to plead guilty on betting charges
• Lawyer: Donaghy classmate expects indictment
• Congressman requests discussion with Stern
• Stern: Donaghy only referee believed to have bet
• Transcript of Stern's news conference
• Police called to Donaghy's home
• Report: Feds believe ref will cooperate
• Reports: NBA referee bet on games
• Mayor: Scandal won't hurt Vegas' NBA dream
Stats• Donaghy's 2006-'07 game log
• Donaghy's 2005-'06 game log
Analysis• Munson: What happens on judgment day?
• Munson: Prison or no prison for Donaghy?
• Neumann: Nader feels vindicated
• Hill: NBA not helping their own case
• Stein: NBA has no quick fix for fixing charges
• Smith: Season shaken by Donaghy nightmare
• Munson: Donaghy's claims troubling for NBA
• Adande: Shine brighter spotlight on refs
• Sheridan: What next, Commissioner Stern?
• Munson: Q&A about Tim Donaghy and the law
• Sheridan: 10 Q&A on the scandal
• Sheridan: Even Stern uncertain about latest crisis
• Stein: Donaghy questions and answers
• Drehs: Expert finds funny numbers
• Broussard: Refs say it's isolated incident
• Katz: College officials fear lasting backlash
• Jackson: Sad, not shocked
• Drehs: Q&A with gambling expert
• Sheridan: Three big questions
• Simmons: One man out, one league in trouble
• Stein: Players react
• Sheridan: Team USA players react
• Stein: Official nightmare for Stern
• Sheridan: The Donaghy file
• Adande: NBA's image takes another hit
• Jones: More bad news for the NBA
• TrueHoop: Two unproven beliefs remain so
• TrueHoop: Here's an early NBA fixer
TrueHoop• Betting expert: There's more to this story
• Observations on the Donaghy documents
• No specific mention of game-fixing
• Donaghy treated for gambling addiction
• Reaction to Donaghy's guilty pleas
• Donaghy details from the Justice Department
• Donaghy surrenders; what it all means
SportsNation• Vote: Your reaction
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