Big Ten Denies Ref Fixed Football Games

Official's crew was involved in two questionable contests
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2007 12:24 AM CST
Big Ten official Stephen Pamon tosses a coin before the kick off of a college football game between Illinois and Ohio State Saturday, Oct. 10, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio. Pamon's crew came under fire in this...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Big Ten commissioner denied any football games were fixed this season, even though an official with a criminal background worked the games, the Chicago Tribune reports. Referee Stephen Pamon was in charge of both the Purdue-Penn State game and the Ohio State-Illinois matchup; both games were marred by controversial calls.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Pamon filed for bankruptcy recently, and is a problem casino gambler with a history of beating women and children. Commissioner Jim Delany admitted that Pamon's off-the-field life is troubling, but refused to question his on-the-field work. The Big Ten does background checks on officials, but now will do them annually.