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For the Record
April 09, 2007
Trouble at Toledo MANY PEOPLE like to bet on college sports, but not all of them like to gamble. The FBI said in a criminal complaint last week that Harvey (Scooter) McDougle, a running back for the University of Toledo, had conspired with a Michigan man to take the guesswork out of Rockets football. The FBI says McDougle acted as a liaison with other athletes in an attempt to ensure that the team would, or sometimes would not, beat the point spread in certain games, including the 2005 GMAC Bowl (which the Rockets won 45--13). McDougle, who led the team in rushing in 2004 but played sparingly the last two years due to injuries, was arrested and charged with conspiring to bribe to affect the outcome of a sporting event.
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April 09, 2007

For The Record

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Trouble at Toledo

MANY PEOPLE like to bet on college sports, but not all of them like to gamble. The FBI said in a criminal complaint last week that Harvey (Scooter) McDougle, a running back for the University of Toledo, had conspired with a Michigan man to take the guesswork out of Rockets football. The FBI says McDougle acted as a liaison with other athletes in an attempt to ensure that the team would, or sometimes would not, beat the point spread in certain games, including the 2005 GMAC Bowl (which the Rockets won 45--13). McDougle, who led the team in rushing in 2004 but played sparingly the last two years due to injuries, was arrested and charged with conspiring to bribe to affect the outcome of a sporting event.

"That does not sound like the Scooter I know," Ted Rath, a senior linebacker on last year's Toledo team, told the Detroit Free Press. "If you're part of the University of Toledo football team ... you have to be the type of young man that has morals."

But the complaint paints a picture of a program that was easily infiltrated by a professional gambler identified as "Gary." "Players such as McDougle, whom 'Gary' trusted, would also be asked to recruit other players to join the scheme," it reads. "In payment for their efforts in the point-shaving scheme the players would be paid by cash, merchandise, groceries and other things of value by 'Gary.'" (McDougle allegedly admitted to the FBI that he received cash and a car, though he denied changing his play to affect an outcome.) McDougle and "Gary" were also said to be involved in "attempting to influence basketball games with [ Toledo] basketball players."

The Toledo Blade identified "Gary" as Ghazi Manni, 50, who emigrated from Iraq nearly 30 years ago. Manni admitted that he was "Gary" but denied any wrongdoing. Toledo issued a statement saying that McDougle—who was released on bond and faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine—had been suspended and that the school would cooperate with the investigation.

Sentenced
To 14 years in prison in Venezuela, former closer Ugueth Urbina, for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch outside Caracas in 2005. Urbina, 32, was accused of helping a group of men attack the laborers with machetes and douse them with gasoline after they were caught swimming in Urbina's pool without permission. Urbina (above, in '05) has denied involvement, saying he was sleeping at the time of the attack. Urbina last pitched in the majors with the Phillies in 2005.

Filed
For divorce, Jennifer Lynn Steinbrenner Swindal, daughter of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and wife of the Boss's once presumed successor, Steve Swindal. In 2005 the owner told reporters that his son-in-law, a Yankees general partner, would run the team after he stepped aside. But lately Swindal, 52, has had some setbacks. In February he was charged with misdemeanor DUI in St. Petersburg. (He pleaded not guilty and had a pretrial hearing scheduled for April 5.) In divorce papers his wife reportedly said their 23-year marriage is "irretrievably broken" and asked that her share of the Steinbrenner family business empire "be protected." The Yankees would not comment on Swindal's standing with the team.

Triumphed
In the $1 million Florida Derby, 2--1 favorite Scat Daddy, one of the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby. The colt, trained by reigning Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher, has won five of his eight lifetime starts. This victory was an easy one: Scat Daddy pulled away from the field down the stretch and beat Notional by 1 1/4 lengths. Scat Daddy was one of five Pletcher-trained winners at Gulfstream Park last Saturday. "The Derby?" said Edgar Prado, Scat Daddy's jockey. "He looks pretty good to me."

Named
The starting centerfielder for the Triple A Memphis Redbirds, former pitcher Rick Ankiel. After he hit a respectable .267 with a home run in 30 at bats with the big club this spring, the Cardinals sent Ankiel, 27, to the minors on March 18. Ankiel (below) spent the rest of the preseason tearing up minor league pitching, hitting .344 with 10 RBIs. Said Redbirds manager Chris Maloney, "I've said it before and I'll say it again: He's something special out there."

Announced
By the Tribune Co., that it will sell the Cubs after this season. On Monday the media conglomerate, which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York's Newsday and several other newspapers and TV stations, accepted an $8.2 billion buyout offer from real estate investor Sam Zell. As part of the deal the company said it would sell the Cubs, which Tribune bought for $20.5 million in 1981. "This transition will not impact our on-field performance," said Cubs president and CEO John McDonough. "We expect to compete and win."

Signed
With the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League, pitcher Danny Almonte. In 2001 Almonte pitched a perfect game in the Little League World Series and led his Bronx team to a third-place finish. It was later discovered that his age documents had been falsified and he was 14, two years older than the Little League maximum (SI, Sept. 3, 2001). Almonte, now 20, led James Monroe High to New York City public school championships in 2004 and '06. Now he'll make $600 a month with the Miners. "There are not too many young lefties with his quality of stuff sitting out there," manager Mike Pinto said.

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