The focus on offense in NBA play, encouraging officials to call more fouls, also paves the way for the current gambling scandal, three former refs charge in USA Today. More free throws and offensive possessions can, in turn, influence the final score. Tim Donaghy, an NBA official for 13 years, resigned this month under suspicion of betting on league games.
One official who worked with Donaghy points out that current guidelines also permit an official to make calls anywhere on the court—so that refs are free to officiate outside their area of responsibility. "It's a dysfunctional system," says another ref. "The whole thing needs to be revamped." The NBA has not commented on the critique.