Photo: AJENT.MSG via Flickr
UPDATE: After last night’s win at Connecticut, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim addressed, and denied, the rumour.EARLIER: How does a college basketball team go from winning its first 18 games to losing four straight?
You could attribute it to facing a pair of top-7 teams in that span. Or it could be something far more sinister.
rumours have surfaced that the Syracuse basketball team is being investigated for a point-shaving scandal.
Is it true? We think not, but judge for yourself. Here’s what you need to know:
- The rumour first appeared on a poker message board called PocketFives.com. It has since been taken down.
- The point-shaving scandal was connected to two games against Seton Hall, a lesser Big East team. The first was a 61-56 win in Jersey on Jan. 8. The other was the Pirates huge 90-68 victory over the Orange on Jan 25.
- It spread when a Rochester, N.Y. reporter picked up on the thread and reported it on Facebook and Twitter. He’s since deleted his updates.
- Scoop Jardine’s uncle was believed to place a bet on Seton Hall in that first game. The Pirates were 7.5 point underdogs and barely covered.
- Jardine, Dion Waiters, and James Southerland were also linked to the scandal. Speculation grew because Waiters and Southerland sat out the game immediately following the Jan. 25 loss. (We’re not sure whether their benching, or the allegations that these players were involved, came first. We think it’s the former.)
- Boeheim says Waiters was benched because “He’s shooting 30 per cent from the field, 30 per cent from the 3-point line and not playing good defence.”
- There was never an explanation for Southerland’s benching. Perhaps it had to do with the 22-point thumping Syracuse suffered in his first start of the season?
- Jardine denied any involvement. So did Dion Waiters.
- This not that first time Jardine has gotten in trouble with a family member (just saying!). He was suspended during the 2008 season when he gave a 40-year-old cousin another student’s ID that contained meal money. No word on whether that’s the same family member who placed a bet on the Seton Hall game.
- OrangeFizz.net debunked the rumours. Sources told the Syracuse blog that the university saw the report and investigated the allegations. They found them to be unsubstantiated.
- Circumstantial evidence, Part I: Syracuse is 18-4 overall but just 5-13 against the spread this season, according to Bodog.
- Circumstantial evidence, Part II: Syracuse has played terribly late in games, and on numerous occasions lost big leads that brought the final margin closer to the spread. Scoop Jardine has played particularly poorly in these situations. Although, as point guard it would make sense that the team goes as he does.
- Yahoo! Sports will conduct an investigation of its own.
Syracuse travels to No. 6 UConn tonight in a huge Big East showdown. They hope to avoid the first five game losing streak in Boeheim’s 35-year tenure as head coach.
Watch closely: the Huskies are favoured by three points. But keep in mind, the sports book manager at the MGM mirage in Las Vegas said there has been no erratic betting on tonight’s game, which further dispels these rumours – unless, of course, he’s in on it, too.
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