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Two former University of San Diego basketball players and a former assistant coach have been indicted on allegations of participating in a point-shaving ring to rake in bundles of money on sports gambling. The indictment was unsealed by the U.S. Attorney's office this morning (April 11). Former USD player Brandon Johnson was charged with taking a bribe to influence the outcome of a USD game in February of last year. According to the indictment, in February of this year, former USD player Brandon Dowdy solicited an individual to affect the outcome of a game for a monetary bribe. Allegedly, former assistant coach Thaddeus Brown and Dowdy discussed soliciting an individual to affect the outcome of a basketball game for a monetary bribe. According to the indictment, ten people, including the three formerly attached to USD, participated in the scheme to make money gambling on games. They were also charged with distributing marijuana. The other defendants are Steve Warda "Shazy" Goria, Paul Joseph "Weenie" Thweni, Richard Francis "Bird" Garmo, Richard "Slick Rick" Thweni, David "Big Dave" Gates, Lillian Goria, and Jake Salter.

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nativesd April 11, 2011 @ 3:53 p.m.

Gotta love those nicknames! Reminds me of the gangsters in Hawaii, where none would be caught dead, so to speak, without a clever appellation!

But seriously, what's with USD? Is the university stinting on scholarship money?


Don Bauder April 11, 2011 @ 9:03 p.m.

Those nicknames, or aliases, are just as popular among mainland mobsters. "Big Tuna" Accardo, "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio, "Bugsy" Siegel, etc. etc. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 April 11, 2011 @ 5:16 p.m.

They were also charged with distributing marijuana.

The story I read in the LA Times indicated that the 3 USD players/coach were not part of the pot ring, but just in on the point shaving.

The others who were gambling on the point shaving in Vegas were also part of a larger pot/drug distribution ring, and the Feds were looking into the pot and it looks like they busted the pot ring and then the pot perps offered up the USD connection to get a lighter sentence, they rolled over.

At least that was my take on this from the times......


Don Bauder April 11, 2011 @ 9:09 p.m.

The lead on the news release from the U.S. Attorney's office referred to "a one-count indictment charging 10 defendants with conspiracy to commit sports bribery, to operate an illegal sports bookmaking service, and to distribute marijuana." This certainly says that all ten, including the two former USD players and the former assistant coach, were in on the marijuana part of the scheme. The second page of the indictment also says clearly that all ten, including Johnson, Brown and Dowdy were in on all the three charges, including marijuana. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK April 12, 2011 @ 8:23 a.m.

usd should know better than to cut into the domain of pro sports


Don Bauder April 12, 2011 @ 10:11 a.m.

Oh, there is a lot of gambling on college sports and also a lot of games that are fixed. Basketball scandals go back to the 1940s in Kansas and NY City, and probably earlier. I remember in the 1950s, when I covered sports at the University of Wisconsin, there would be wise guys who looked and dressed like Chicago hoods showing up at the practices. Back in those days, parlay cards were the big gambling vehicles, on campus and off. Best, Don Bauder


paul April 12, 2011 @ 11:45 a.m.

I would imagine it is a lot cheaper to buy a college kid then a well paid pro. A player of Johnson's relative impact in the pros is making multiple millions even on the worst team.

Officials are good targets for fixers as well.


Don Bauder April 12, 2011 @ 2:06 p.m.

Oh yes, it's easier to bribe a college kid than a pro. The college kid makes very little money, even under the table, probably will never make the pros, may have a drug habit -- in short, is vulnerable. Yes, just a couple of years ago one of the NBA refs was nailed and went to the slammer. I think football refs and baseball umps can be had, too. Keep one thing in mind: gambling pushes pro sports, particularly football. Best, Don Bauder


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