"Whistleblower" and ACC basketball

This seems like a topic worthy of discussion on this board, since the basketball knowledge seems really high here. I’ve been listening to a podcast called Whistleblower - a insanely eye-opening documentary on NBA basketball officials - (link is here).

Quick summary - lots of research done and real interviews of officials presenting a pretty strong case that the NBA fixed/fixes games for revenue. I know this is something I always joked about when I was younger (see 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 6 - Lakers vs. Kings). But listening to the interviews on this podcast - unbelievable!

Anyway, it got me thinking about two questions:

  1. Might the ACC might have a few referees in their back pocket for games where they need to control branding (UNC and Duke)?
  2. Might UVA now be on the positive end of that branding?

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but there have been games in the not-so distant past where UVA got the raw end of the deal. And taking off my orange and blue glasses, there are games where refs swallow their whistle when we’re on defense. I can attribute a lot of this to the great footwork our coaches teach, but I do believe there are games where our defensive reputation helps with friendly calls. Could there be league influence?

This blurb from the News & Observer might scare you:

While the idea of this camp is to further identify the next generation of potential ACC officials, there’s a literal next generation working the courts as well. Campers include Anthony Eades (son of Mike), Kyle Luckie (son of Jamie) and Nick Heater (son of Jerry). As it was for Kersey, this is a family business.

I once had a conversation with Jerry Heater and he was a self professed UNC fan and told me “I hate UVA” upon hearing I was an alum.

Deep thoughts on a Friday…



I think the answer to the first and thus the second is no. I think a lot of the favorable calls that Duke gets can be explained by having what are likely the best athletes on the court that can get into the paint and draw contact easily. They also tend to (along with UNC) have really good big men (Carey, Bagley, Zion) who work out of the paint and can thus draw more contact.

I do think Coach K is really good at working the refs and can intimidate them. And I would not want to call fouls against Duke at Cameron Indoor. But is there a concerted effort directed by the ACC to swing games? No


I have friends who do NBA games … I was in minor league and NCAA pipeline for a while … there are many true stories.


Yes there are definite scenarios in which at the *minimum calls were fixed or planned. This discussion actually just came up recently on another UVA board.

There was a recent YouTube interview with Tim Donaghy (the ref who went to jail), in which he has begun to throw the NBA under the bus about what really went on in the league (atleast when he was reffing). For example the refs room insults personally and punished players such as Alan Iverson who complained about calls.

He also so that there are some well known refs who *intended to allow/drag out/ influence NBA playoff games.

…I’m actually kind of upset about these revelations as I almost question what is the point of competition when it can be rigged.

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