last game of the season my roommate [an All-Pro] told me I'd get $300 that
Sunday if I did what he told me to do. I wasn't even sure I was starting. He
said, 'If you get in late in the game, listen to me.' I found out 10 other guys
were in on it. I didn't play but I got the $300."
finished his career with a third team, which was a contender.
go on there?"
"I never did
anything. I was making the most money in my life, $15,000. I was treated
fairly. I had a job in the off-season. But I was still dumb about it. We had a
shot at the playoffs one season. We had to win the last game. A few days before
the game a cornerback asked me if I knew where he could bet. He wanted to bet
$500 against us. I told him I'd make the bet for him and kept the money myself.
I was booking the game. Can you imagine anyone being so dumb that he would bet
on his own team even though he knew a guy on the team was trying to lose? He
was right. We didn't stand a chance. But I thought we could win. I always
thought my team could win."
I asked him if he
ever rejected an opportunity to make money at his team's expense.
asked me to sprinkle a powder on some food at the training table before a game.
It would have given everyone the runs. I could have made $5,000, but I didn't
have the nerve. I would have done it, but I was afraid of getting
I asked the
player how, as an athlete, he justified his involvement with gamblers.
become a professional—and even when you're in college—it's not a game
anymore," he said. "It starts in college. A football scholarship is a
joke. Anyone who wants to get through college can work his way through. You're
paid to play football. By the time you're a senior you realize it's a business.
When I turned pro I was treated like an athletic bum. If they treated me
decently, if they helped set me up in a community, I would have played my heart
out for them."
"Do you think
they're fixing games today?"
think it goes on like it did. The organizations are better. The pay is better.
The outside money is better. But if a guy was offered $10,000 tax free, it
might be the same as me taking $1,000. I wouldn't condemn a guy who did it.
It's strictly business, and that's how business is done. I don't think the game
is crooked, but one or two guys might be doing business."