Cheating the Spread
Originally published 03/26/2013
Luther Spoehr: Review of Albert J. Figone's "Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball" (University of Illinois Press, 2012)
Luther Spoehr, an HNN book editor, co-teaches a course on the history of intercollegiate athletics at Brown University.“The race may not be to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” the inimitable Damon Runyon observed, “but that’s the way to bet.” Unless, he might have added, the fix is in. And as Albert Figone demonstrates, the fix has been in many times in major college sports over the past seventy-five years or so. Figone’s research into “court records, newspaper articles, books, government documents, magazine articles, documents found in university archives, scholarly journals, and interviews” has produced a chronicle that is both impressive and depressing.