Ex-NBA ref to begin gambling sentence

Sept. 23, 2008 at 4:45 PM   |   Comments

PENSACOLA, Fla., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy's lawyer said his client hopes to work with gambling addicts or perhaps write a book when he gets out of prison.

Donaghy was to report to a federal prison in Florida Tuesday to begin serving a 15-month sentence for a gambling conviction related to his work as an NBA ref.

"Tim is accepting of his situation," attorney John Lauro said. "He understands that he was going to be punished. But he's also looking to rebuilding his life."

Lauro told USA Today that Donaghy was considering possibly becoming a counselor for people with gambling problems, and that a book about his experiences is also possible.

The idea of a tell-all raises the issue of other NBA officials possibly being mixed up with betting, and that leads to the question of whether or not games have been fixed.

The league told USA Today it was not interested in covering up any wrongdoing; however, TNT analyst Charles Barkley told the newspaper that the issue should be investigated.

"Once you ruin the integrity of the sport, it is tough to regain it," said Barkley, a former NBA star. "The basketball family and fans need to know if there's anybody else involved."

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