Roenick says he never bet on hockey

Updated: September 8, 2004, 10:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Philadelphia Flyers center Jeremy Roenick characterized his involvement with a Florida sports-gambling organization as "dumb" in an interview with ESPN on Tuesday.

Roenick told ESPN's Steve Levy that he never bet on hockey.

"It would be the stupidest thing in the whole world," Roenick told Levy. "As an athlete, anyone who would think of doing what Pete Rose did or jeopardizing their career ... I would never do that."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Aug. 15 that Roenick had paid thousands of dollars to National Sports Consultants, an organization that made millions of dollars selling sports betting tips to gamblers.

Roenick denied giving hockey "tips" to the company and said that he did nothing wrong. He repeated an earlier statement that he has gone "cold turkey" with gambling. He said he used to "put down a few thousand here or there" on football and basketball games.

Lee County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Johnston, who worked with the FBI on the investigation, told the Inquirer that Roenick paid the company more than $100,000.

Roenick said "it was dumb" to get involved with "stupid people" that were part of the consultant company.

"The whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth," Roenick said. "It's a ridiculous story ... some reporters should mind their own business."

Roenick said he has not placed a bet since January. When asked if he would ever place another bet, he said he could not say no.

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