Focus on Offense Aids Crooked Refs

'Dysfunctional' ref rules partly to blame for Donaghy fiasco
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 26, 2007 8:03 AM CDT
Focus on Offense Aids Crooked Refs
** FILE *8 Houston Rockets' Tracy McGrady (1) covers his face while talking with official Tim Donaghy, left, after a foul call during the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs in this Jan. 15, 2005 file photo, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)   (Associated Press)

The focus on offense in NBA play, encouraging officials  to call more fouls, also paves the way for the current gambling scandal, three former refs charge in USA Today. More free throws and offensive possessions can, in turn, influence the final score. Tim Donaghy, an NBA official for 13 years, resigned this month under suspicion of betting on league games.

One official who worked with Donaghy points out that current guidelines also permit an official to make calls anywhere on the court—so that refs are free to officiate outside their area of responsibility. "It's a dysfunctional system," says another ref. "The whole thing needs to be revamped." The NBA has not commented on the critique. (More NBA stories.)

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