NBA Ref Starts Prison Term for Gambling
Scandal fallout continues to batter league
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2008 1:57 AM CDT
Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy exits Brooklyn federal court following his sentencing. He begins his 15-month prison term today.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
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(Newser) – The NBA referee who admitted gambling on basketball begins his 15-month federal prison sentence today, reports USA Today. The conviction of referee Tim Donaghy, 41, has rocked the NBA, even though officials determined he didn't bet on the specific games he worked. An NBA-sponsored investigation into gambling and referees is under way.        

It's the first time in history a referee in a major US professional sports organization has served time for felony gambling linked to his work. "This is a difficult time. Tim is accepting of his situation," said Donaghy's attorney before his client reported to a minimum-security prison camp in Florida.  "He understands that he was going to be punished. But he's also looking to rebuilding his life."