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Cheating the SpreadGamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball$
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Albert J. Figone

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037283

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037283.001.0001

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The Golden Age of Gambling

The Golden Age of Gambling

College Basketball in the Postwar Years

(p.12) Two The Golden Age of Gambling
Cheating the Spread

Albert J. Figone

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at the increased popularity of college basketball after World War II. At the tail end of the conflict “big men” had come to dominate a game already revolutionized by changes in rules and equipment and a faster, higher-scoring style of play, greatly increasing the spectator appeal of the sport. Many gamblers who favored the horses before the war switched to college basketball and football in the early 1940s. But the switch was not always easy, though the future of college basketball nevertheless looked bright after the war, despite frequent and disturbing reports that players had been offered bribes to fix games. By then many basketball players and gamblers remained cozy bedfellows, and fixing had become such a time-honored tradition that even students were aware that some players rigged games with gamblers.

Keywords:   World War II, postwar era, college basketball, game fixing, gamblers

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