When an NBA Referee Was Convicted of Shaving Points

Peter D. Newmann is an NBA Research and Information Specialist at ESPN, and he just emailed me the following timeline, which he constructed from the archives of The New York Times.

The Case of Former NBA Referee Sol Levy

Nov. 2, 1951 - Levy is arrested on charges to "to officiate in a such a manner that the point spread would be shaved," according to NY District Attorney Frank Hogan; he is accused of fixing 3 NBA games from the 1949-50 season, later known to be 6 games.

Nov. 14, 1951 - The evidence goes in front of a grand jury.

Feb. 18, 1952 - Levy is accused by a grand jury of 7 criminal counts.

March 13, 1953 - Levy's trial ends. Levy did not testify.

March 27, 1953 - Levy is found guilty of 6 of the 7 counts on the indictment. He is convicted of taking bribes to fix scores by his calling of fouls.

April 22, 1953 - Levy is sentenced to an indeterminate sentence that is up to 3 years in the NYC Penitentiary.

March 3, 1954 - Levy wins his appeal on a technicality and is freed. The court noted that the section in which Levy was convicted under included commercial fraud, but did not include referees in basketball games.

UPDATE: More on the Sol Levy case and other NBA scandals of the past. It could be seen as bad for the NBA that this has happened before, but in many ways I'd say it's good. The proof is there that this can be survived.