Ex-NBA ref says mob threatened family

Updated: December 3, 2009, 8:01 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Disgraced ex-NBA referee Tim Donaghy tells "60 Minutes" the mob threatened his family to ensure he provided his insider picks to inform betting on games.

Donaghy
Donaghy

"They basically told me that I needed to give them the picks and if I didn't, that it's a possibility that somebody would go down and visit my wife and kids in Florida," Donaghy says in his first interview since his arrest in the betting scandal, which airs Sunday night on CBS.

Donaghy says he bet on games based on his knowledge of other officials' biases for and against certain players and teams. Donaghy says he was winning 75 percent of the time, which drew the attention of the mob.

"I knew there were certain relationships that existed between referees and players, referees and coaches and referees and owners that influence the point spreads in games," he says.

Donaghy again denies that he influenced any games he called to win a bet. NBA officials declined to participate in the piece but have denied similar allegations from Donaghy in the past, saying he is an untrustworthy source.

Donaghy wrote a tell-all book in prison, but Random House said in October it would not go forward with publishing it.

Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months.

"We all have choices to make in life and when we decide to go down that wrong road we would be better off backing up. ... Not only do you affect your life ... but the lives of the people you love the most," he says.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE