[Forbes] - In episode 2, former Colombo crime family boss, Michael Franzese alludes to the fact that he (i.e. the mafia) had multiple referees on the payroll both in the NBA and across major professional sports. In episode 3, Tommy Martino specifically mentions Foster by name, describing how Donaghy would frequently take private calls with Foster outside of earshot before every game that Donaghy both officiated and bet on. A 2008 Fox News article, which seemingly got overlooked in the midst of the media onslaught analyzed Donaghy’s phone records and discovered that between October 2006 and April 2007 (the season during which Donaghy was ultimately caught), Donaghy made 134 phone calls to Foster, which surpassed the 126 calls he made to his bookie during that same span. While Donaghy suggests that those calls were merely two friends catching up, but according to Livingston, the timing and duration of these calls suggests otherwise, as each call was roughly two minutes in duration and largely took place immediately before and after 54 of the 57 games Donaghy officiated that year.
Again, there is no evidence nor any implication of wrongdoing on the part of Foster but it does raise some interesting questions in the minds of the audience about a referee with a less-than-stellar reputation among players and fans that the basketball public was just reminded of after some controversial calls in the recent series between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Somehow this isn't making bigger waves until I just saw some people tweeting about it and started reading up on the podcast. Needless to say I'll be listening. Essentially it looks at the Tim Donaghy scandal in the NBA and how it could actually go deeper than just Donaghy. The big takeaway is this from Forbes. The mob alludes to having more refs on the payroll and then there's the Scott Foster part.
First with the mob, I don't think anyone is that surprised. We've seen and heard stories about the mob and college hoops even up to last year. The Boston College point shaving scandal is the one that most would point to here, so it's not exactly the most shocking statement. The shocking part though is how there are 'multiple' on the payroll. Need to know the exact number as I feel like that would really tell the story here.
But the bigger story is Scott Foster. If you watch the NBA, you know the name Scott Foster. He's one of the most known refs, who is known for being not great! Yet somehow he ends up calling a bunch of games that mean something. Again, they aren't saying he's involved here, just the connection to Donaghy. That's gotta be the LAST thing you want if you are the NBA. You had to have the 'rogue ref' angle and just hope that nothing like this ever comes up. The first thing people do, especially with the NBA, is talk about how it's rigged if there's a bad call late. It's in everyone's mind. He was on the call for this fiasco
I'm so fascinated by the Donaghy story. It's been over a decade since it all happened and now we're getting more details. If anything more like this comes out it will just be the worst thing possible for the NBA.