SI article brings new questions to NJ sports betting case

Sports Illustrated shed some new insight on the New Jersey sports betting case in an article that will appear in its May 12 issue.

The article, by Ryan Rodenberg and L. Jon Wortheim, uncovers testimony from depositions with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NCAA president Mark Emmert.

All of the four major pro leagues' commissioners were depositioned in the case, along with Emmert, in October and November of 2012. Both sides in the case wanted them to remain closed to the public and as a result the depositions of Gary Bettman, David Stern and Bud Selig were completely sealed and only portions of Goodell's and Emmert's were released.

What was most revealing from SI's report is that Goodell saw "three incidents" involving violations of the NFL's policy related to gambling, though those incidents weren't specified. Goodell also seemed to struggle to give a flat out 'no' when asked if he knew of any game-fixing incidents.

From the deposition, as reported by Sports Illustrated:  

Q. Can you think of any incidents, as the Commissioner of the NFL, where there has been game-fixing involved in an NFL game?
(Goodell lawyer) Jeffrey Mishkin: It's been asked and answered. You can answer it again.
A. I can't think of a specific incident off the top of my head.
Q. Is it fair to say that would be sufficiently significant that you would remember it if one had occurred?
MR. MISHKIN: I object to the form of the question.
A. Again, I've been involved with the NFL for 30 years, 30-plus years. There's a history that the NFL goes over 90 years now, so there's a long history of the NFL prior to my involvement. I don't -- I can't speak to all those issues.


The testimony is strange to put it mildly. Why couldn't Goodell say 'no' or 'not to my knowledge' when asked about game-fixing in the NFL? Is match fixing a legitimate possibility for an NFL game?

And why did both sides agree they wanted to keep these depositions sealed in the first place? Isn't this case in part about bringing sports betting above board?

The article and testimony bring about some new questions as the Supreme Court preps to make a decision on the fate of New Jersey's sports betting case. The prediction from Florida gaming lawyer Daniel Wallach is that we should have an answer on whether they'll decide to hear the case by late June.

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Posted by Tigermike1975
7 months ago

I read the whole article and there certainly wasn't anything groundbreaking in there to me. I would never recommend answering a question with an absolute if there was any possible way it could come back to haunt me. Perhaps he has heard whispers or has suspicions, the events of a fix often don't come to light right away. Why say something that could cone ack to haunt later? Match fixing, or corruption in any profession, not just sports, will always occur whether there is regulation or not as long as there is money and the human element involved. As far as the rest of the article, anyone with common sense knows gambling adds to TV ratings in sports interest and revenue. It is quite a dance the leagues do being against it but reaping its benefits. I doubt the Supreme Court will take up the case, their job is simply to rule on the constitutionality of laws, not the wisdom of such laws. Even if they do I am pretty sure the catch-all commerce cause will allow it. If they can force people to buy health insurance, certainly they can justify it as allowable to regulate the spread of sports betting, which was the intent of the law, once again no matter how unwise the law may be. It would be time better spent trying to change things via the legislative process rather than the courts. Good article again, Mr. Campbell.
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Top Response

Posted by Tigermike1975
7 months ago

"I read the whole article and there certainly wasn't anything groundbreaking in there to me. I would never recommend answering a question with an absolute if there was any possible way it could come back to haunt me. Perhaps he has heard whispers or h..."