Friday, April 24, 2009

"The Longest Yard" Comes To Toledo

I'm sure that most of you have seen some version of "The Longest Yard" by now, whether it be the original or Sandler's remake. Well regardless, it appears that the story in that movie has actually come to life. No, the prisoners are not playing the guards in a football game, but it appears as if a few players at Toledo University point-shaved. Here's the full scoop from via the Associated Press.

A former University of Toledo football player recruited his teammates and basketball players at the school to take part in a point-shaving scheme during a three-year period, according to documents filed in federal court.

Andrew Cuomo, a little-used running back at Toledo, admitted that he initiated the scheme with a Detroit-area gambler in the fall of 2003 and that they both bet on Toledo games, the documents said.

Cuomo told investigators he gave information about upcoming games to the Detroit gambler and that he introduced numerous athletes to meet with the gambler, according to documents filed this week in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Cuomo, who was a backup from Hamilton, Ontario, has not been charged. He was at Toledo from 1999-2003.

The FBI has been looking into point shaving at Toledo over the past four years. They say the scheme began in 2003 and continued until 2006 after Cuomo was no longer on the team.

Until now, only two other former players at the school had been linked to the allegations.

Former basketball player Sammy Villegas was charged last June with shaving points in games during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Villegas has not entered a plea, but he is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

Charges against former football player Harvey ``Scooter'' McDougle Jr. were dropped two years as the investigation continued. McDougle has denied involvement.

McDougle said Friday that he was a freshman when Cuomo was a senior and they did not know each other very well. He remembered seeing Cuomo on campus and at games after his career was over.

According to the documents filed Tuesday, investigators say two football players and one basketball player have admitted to taking part in the point shaving scheme along with the Detroit gambler.

The gambler, who was not been charged, has been identified as Gary Manni of Sterling Heights. Manni has repeatedly said that he knew many football and basketball players at the school, but they did not fix any games.

Manni's attorney, Neil Fink, said Friday that he did not know whether Manni will be charged. ``I don't know what the outcome will be,'' he said. Fink also would not say whether Manni was involved with Cuomo or any other players at Toledo.

Cuomo helped two of the players who admitted involvement meet with Manni, the documents said. Cuomo could not be reached for comment Friday. There was no listing for him in Toledo or his hometown in Canada. It was not known if he has an attorney.
The FBI said it interviewed several players and recorded phone calls between Cuomo and Manni.

On the day of the 2005 GMAC Bowl, Cuomo told Manni that he was using one of the football players to convince another player to shave points by committing penalties in an upcoming game, the documents said.

Cuomo insisted that Manni pay the player $1,000, the documents said.

The Rockets beat UTEP 45-13 in the bowl game later that day.

In another phone conversation, Cuomo and Manni talked about a failed attempt to convince a basketball player to shave points, the documents said. Manni responded that he already had paid another basketball player to take part in the scheme, the documents said.

Athletic officials at Toledo have allowed federal authorities to take the lead on the investigation. No current players are thought to be involved in the allegations.
It's ashame that people are that desparate for money and/or are addicted to gambling so much that they would be willing to sacrifice the good of the team like that, but alas, some people just don't know any better. Hopefully Andrew Cuomo and everyone else who was involved in this scheme have learned their lesson.

1 comment:

  1. Unrelated: Did you just hear the news that the Cardinals are willing to take a 2nd round pick & other considerations for Anquan Boldin?

    /not an April Fool's joke
    //just saw it on ESPN

    On the post: That's just Manni being Manni.

    /Tim Brando'd


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