In today’s age of materialism, gambling is no longer limited to the blackjack table. When money and sports mix, the result is often a scandal that ends someone’s career and sometimes even damages an entire sport’s reputation. Here are three sports betting scandals that show how quickly sports can degrade when players, coaches and managers start betting on their own games.
Pete Rose’s Sports Betting Scandal
Before performance-enhancing drugs had tarnished the name of America’s pastime, there was Pete Rose, whose name has become synonymous with baseball betting scandals. Rose had a strong career playing for the Cincinnati Reds, his hometown team. Rose played with the Reds from 1963 to 1978, and then returned in 1984 to play another five years. Once he stopped playing, he worked as a manager for the Reds. That is when things started to go south for the former MVP.
In 1989, he was banned from baseball because of accusations that he had gambled on MLB events while playing and managing for the Reds. Despite his permanent ineligibility, Rose continued to claim innocence and brought up the issue year after year. Until 2004, that is, when his autobiography My Prison Without Bars was released. He came clean in the book, but says he never bet on the Reds. During the book’s promotion, however, he claimed that he bet on his team every night. At this point, it is hard to imagine that anyone was shocked to find out that he had bet for the Reds since he had been lying for 15 years and only decided to come clean during promotions for a book that pocketed him a million dollar advance. As a player and manager, he was in a unique position of being able to beat the odds and to render the gambler’s fallacy useless.
Rick Neuheisel’s March Madness Pool
Not all sports betting scandals are as cut and dry as Pete Rose’s story. Take Rick Neuheisel, who was fired from his position as the University of Washington’s football coach in 2003 for participating in March Madness betting pools. Everyone has participated in March Madness and similar pools. The NCAA even allows coaches to participate in them as long they are off-campus. The courts awarded Neuheisel a $4.5 million settlement for wrongful termination.
Joe Jackson Fixed the 1919 World Series
Shoeless Joe Jackson might not be the first baseball player to come to your mind for sports betting scandals, but he dominated the newspapers in 1919 when he and seven other Black Sox players fixed the 1919 World Series. Jackson was a rising star in baseball, but his career was cut short when commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned him from the game for life. He came clean at a grand jury in 1920, undoubtedly breaking the hearts of fans across America.
With the issue of rugby’s survival, we can only hope that something like this will never happen to tarnish the image of the game we all love.Tweet