Point shaving, in organized
sports, is a type of match fixingwhere the perpetrators try to prevent a team from covering a published point spread. Unlike other forms of match fixing, sports bettinginvariably motivates point shaving. A point shaving scheme generally involves a sports gambler and one or more players of the sports team favored to win the game. In exchange for a bribe, the player or players agree to ensure that their team will not "cover the point spread," or win by the required margin. The gambler then wagers against that team. Basketballis a particularly easy medium for shaving points because of the scoring tempo of the game and the ease by which one player can influence key events. By deliberately missing shots or committing well-timed turnovers or fouls, a corrupt player can covertly ensure that his team fails to cover the point spread, without causing them to lose the game (or to lose so badly that suspicions are aroused). Although the NCAA has adopted a zero tolerancepolicy with respect to gamblingactivity by its players, some critics believe it unwittingly encourages point shaving due to its strict rules regarding amateurism, combined with the large amount of money wagered on its games. The NCAA has produced posters warning of this, the most notable being an athlete sitting alone on a bench with his face buried in his hands (although this may also look like the athlete suffered a tremendous defeat) with the caption "DO NOT BET ON IT" with warnings as to what could happen if they are involved in such a plan (as well as an athlete being caught gambling oneself).
Conversely, there have been alleged cases where an underdog not only lost (which might be honest) but lost by some large amount, perhaps to ensure a point spread was covered for the benefit of gamblers although in some cases the motive may be to grant a non-gambling related favor to the victor.
References in popular culture
Season four of the hit CW television series, "One Tree Hill" features incidents of point shaving during several different episodes, focusing on the pressure teens have to win in team sports and the dangerous world of bookie based gambling.
The 2002 movie dramatized the fact-based story of
Benny Silmanand the 1994 Arizona State point shaving scandal.
1994movie " Blue Chips" features a coach, played by Nick Nolte, who realizes that one of his star players shaved points in a game three years before.
1998movie about City College of New Yorkinvovlement in the CCNY Point Shaving Scandal"City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal" [http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom/pr/0,20812,666861,00.html]
In a fifth season episode of "
The Sopranos", "Rat Pack", the character Bobby Baccala mentions that he heard that fictional New Yorkmob boss Carmine Lupertazziinvented point shaving during a game between the University of Kentucky and City College of New York. Uncle Junior confirmed the story, saying "Nobody beat the spread. I bought a black Fleetwood."
1989issue of MAD Magazinehad a poem / cartoon titled "Ten College Athletes" about how various problems result in the elimination of athletes from college. One such verse was "Six sophomore athletes, on the court with jive. One helped gamblers fix a game... Bet's off, we are down to five." The illustration shows a very tall basketball player with his hand open, and a typical Mafia type gangster handing him a large bankroll of cash.
Episode 6 of the 10th season of
The Simpsonsfeatures a joke with Kent Brockman talking about point shaving by the Harlem Globetrotters.
* cite paper | author = Gibbs, Jonathan | title = Point Shaving in the NBA: An Economic Analysis of the National Basketball Association's Point Spread Betting Market | publisher = Undergraduate Honors Thesis from the Department of Economics, Stanford University
year = 2007 | url = http://www-econ.stanford.edu/academics/Honors_Theses/Theses_2007/Gibbs2007.pdf
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Look at other dictionaries:
point-shaving — point shav·ing (pointʹshā vĭng) n. The illegal practice of deliberately limiting the number of points scored by one s team in an athletic contest, as in return for a payment from gamblers to ensure winnings. * * * … Universalium
point-shaving — noun Usage: often attributive Date: 1975 an attempt (as by a member of the team favored to win) to influence the final score of a game so that the predicted winner wins by less than the point spread … New Collegiate Dictionary
point shaving — Sports. (esp. in basketball) the illegal practice, by one or more bribed players, of deliberately limiting the number of points scored to conform to the desires of corrupt gamblers. * * * … Universalium
point shaving — Sports. (esp. in basketball) the illegal practice, by one or more bribed players, of deliberately limiting the number of points scored to conform to the desires of corrupt gamblers … Useful english dictionary
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