Toledo Embarrassment

This article reports that six former University of Toledo football and basketball players have been indicted for taking bribes to shave points during games. An indictment is not a conviction, of course, but if these charges are found to be true it will be a sad day for sports fans generally and Toledo residents specifically. We will no doubt be seeing the articles you always see when this kind of news occurs — that there is too much money in collegiate sports but none of it goes to the athletes, that we should pay college athletes to make sure that they don’t engage in this kind of behavior, and that the whole sports world is rigged. I don’t know if many contests are, in fact, rigged, but I don’t think it is asking too much to expect that athletes will avoid taking money to throw games or shave points.

Two other points on this article. First, I know some people gamble on sports, but I find it amazing that bookies would be taking significant bets on contests like UT versus East Carolina. Good Lord — the $21,000 that the two indicted gamblers had to be a huge percentage of the total amount bet on that contest. Second, I have to admit that, when I read this article, I was hoping that the UT players had been paid to shave points in their football win over the University of Michigan Wolverines last year. It’s bad enough that UM lost to a MAC team; it really would have added insult to injury if the UT players had shaved points during the game, too.

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A Leading Economic Indicator (Part II)

According to this article, the Sotheby’s auction that I noted a few days ago concluded with very mixed results. The most expensive pieces flopped, but other pieces sold for decent prices. The Chagall piece that some were looking to as a barometer — item 4 in this slideshow — sold for $2,882,500, toward the top end of the $2 million to $3 million that some observers were forecasting. The seller had purchased it in 2005, for $1,136,000. A more than 100 percent profit in four years — not bad!