Then, on a crisp October day in 1951, the roof caved in. Authorities arrested the stars, Ralph Beard and Alex Groza, on charges of conspiring with gamblers to “shave points” as the “fixers’” felt that UK’s teams were talented enough to win by any chosen margin. While that activity was poor ethics anywhere, it was illegal in the State of New York. As many of Kentucky’s games were played in Madison Square Garden — “The Mecca of College Basketball” — the players were guilty of a serious crime.
Although UK was the highest profile team involved, the point-shaving scandal was not limited to them. Before it was over, 30 players from seven schools were implicated. Later, more Kentucky players, most notably Bill Spivey, were caught in the net and came under the jurisdiction of an ambitious New York District Attorney and a vindictive judge.
Ron Elliott recreates the charged atmosphere inside UK’s old Alumni Gym where the ‘Cats steamrolled to 84 consecutive victories and recounts the thrilling action of the big games in Madison Square Garden. Sinister Influences also provides statistics for the big games and the player’s careers as well as many previously obscure details of the point-shaving scandals which cost the players their vocation and nearly prematurely ended Coach Rupp’s fabulous career.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.
About The Author
“I’ve been reading your manuscript. Confession upfront: I have absolutely no interest in basketball (I know I live in Kentucky and that’s a capital offense) and getting myself to read it has been tough. That said, it reads (as I suspected) incredibly well, is chock full of information, and the narrative flows really well. I love it and I see no reason why everybody won’t.”-Michael Steinmacher, Director of Barr Memorial Library
Book DetailsAuthor: Ron Elliott
Product Dimensions: 6x9
Cover Type: Hardcover