A former University of Toledo basketball player was arrested today and charged with point shaving. The arrest comes a little more than a year after a former Toledo football player, running back Scooter McDougle, was accused of taking money and cars from a Michigan gambler to fix college football and basketball games.
During the time that the point shaving scandal was going on, Bruce Gradkowski was the school’s starting quarterback. He was also seen hanging around Gary Manni, the guy accused of masterminding the point shaving scam. The Toledo Blade says the FBI has often floated Gradkowski’s name as a possible conspirator.
Gradkowski played the last two seasons with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He received extensive playing time in 2006. Despite Tampa Bay stocking up with a pile of quarterbacks, Gradkowski was not re-signed by the Bucs. However, he is in camp with the St. Louis Rams.
ESPN.com ran a brilliant article about the Toledo scandal last August. That story brought Gradkowski’s name into the mix. Since then, several other media outlets have picked up on Gradkowski (an NFL quarterback) and his possible role in fixing games. Before the scandal, Tampa Bay coach John Gruden was a vigorous defender of Gradkowski despite his mediocre pro results. Now, not so much.
One other interesting aspect of the Toledo gambling case is the role that Las Vegas gambling entities played in bringing the scandal to light. Kenny White of Las Vegas Sports consultants alerted Nevada state officials about questionable bets surrounding Toledo games. MGM Mirage actually took most Toledo games off the board in 2005 and restricted betting on the team.
The NFL fears Las Vegas. This is just another example of Vegas being the good guy. They’re actually a policing force on gambling. Vegas is the cops not the criminals.