not a factor in Big Ten ref investigation
investigation conducted by the Big Ten found no evidence that
casino gambling reflected on the officiating by Stephen Pamon.
Yahoo! Sports first reported reported in December that Stephen
Pamon, a Big Ten official since 1988, and his wife filed for
bankruptcy in 2002 and two of the creditors were casinos. The
ref's sister-in-law told the new agency that Pamon regularly
gambled in casinos and the gambling he and his wife did
contributed to their bankruptcy.
Pamon's crew came under scrutiny for its
work in last season's Penn State-Purdue game and was reportedly
suspended. The Yahoo article also questioned the officiating in
last year's Illinois at Ohio State game, worked by Pamon's crew,
though the reporting never alleged either game had been
intentionally compromised by any officials. The financial
troubles of the referee sparked an investigation by the Big Ten,
however, no evidence was found to support speculations that
Pamon and his casino gambling habit led to influencing the
outcome of any games. There was no evidence Pamon bet on
sporting events, either.
"Upon the conclusion of our
investigation, the Big Ten is secure in its belief that these
games were not compromised. As a result of this review, we have
made several adjustments to our background check program. We
will increase the frequency of our checks to an annual review
for all officials instead of a periodic review every few years.
In addition, we will enhance our monitoring and oversight of
officials' gambling activities that are legal yet unrelated to
sports. Officials will be required to disclose any
non-sports-related gambling activities, and they will be
prohibited from engaging in these activities during the period
of time encompassing their officiating assignments," Big Ten
commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement.