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FBI Involvement in UTEP Scandal Uncommon, Not Unusual

Genevieve Curtis of KFOX14 in El Paso, TX:

Up until now, the FBI’s ongoing investigation has not revealed point shaving but [local sports commentator Steve] Kaplowitz said that makes the FBI’s involvement in the violations interesting. “It’s weird because when you look back on the history of the FBI investigating college athletes, most of the time, a majority of the time its point shaving, that’s where it is,” said Kaplowitz.

To find out if the scandal involves point shaving or game fixing, the FBI has to investigate. Since the school notified the FBI about players involved with sports wagering, that was the starting point. That is not surprising at all given the connection between an athlete wagering on sports and graduating to point shaving or fixing games, especially if the wagers are placed with a local bookie rather than offshore websites.

While Kaplowitz was not familiar with student-athletes suspended for gambling or the FBI investigating sports wagering that did not affect the outcome of games, the case is similar to that of former Tulsa AD Ross Parmley. Parmley lost his job after the FBI discovered he had placed bets with an Oklahoma gambling ring. That case involved no accusation or evidence that Parmley or the ring had attempted to influence college sports contests.

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