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The CCNY Point Shaving Scandal of 1950-1951 was a college basketball point shaving gambling scandal that involved seven schools in all, with four in Greater New York and three in the Midwest. However, most of the key players in the scandal were student-athletes at City College of New York.



The scandal involved the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Invitation Tournament (NIT) champion City College of New York (CCNY). CCNY had won the 1950 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament and the 1950 National Invitation Tournament the previous spring over Bradley University. The scandal involved the Beavers and at least six other schools, including four in the New York City area; CCNY, along with Manhattan College, New York University and Long Island University. It spread out of New York City to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, the University of Kentucky and the University of Toledo. The scandal would spread to 33 players and involve the world of organized crime. CCNY was eventually banned from playing at Madison Square Garden, although the coach, Nat Holman, would be cleared of any wrongdoing.[1][2][3]

How the scandal first came to light

The scandal first came to light when New York City District Attorney Frank Hogan arrested seven men in January 1951, including All-America forward Ed Warner, center Ed Roman, and guard Al Roth, the three stars of the CCNY 1950 National Championship team, after setting up an undercover, or "sting", operation.[4]

Jack Molinas would not be caught in 1951, but after he was suspended for gambling by the NBA, he would be linked back to the 1951 scandal by betting on his then college team Columbia University.[5]


The scandal had long-lasting effects for some of the individuals involved, as well as college basketball itself. Bill Spivey apparently never got over it, while others like Gene Melchiorre let it be a turning point to learn from and make their lives better.[6] Coaches, long after the scandal was over, would warn their players what could happen to their lives if they chose to make some "fast money" now.[7] Meanwhile, the NCAA Tournament (which soon supplanted the NIT as college basketball's premier postseason tournament) kept its championship game away from the New York metropolitan area for almost 50 years, purely out of fear of a similar incident occurring. It only returned to the New York area when the 1996 Final Four was held at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In addition, the CCNY basketball program never recovered from the scandal, beginning a long decline out of Division I into Division III, where it plays today.

City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal

In 1998, George Roy and Steven Hilliard Stern, Black Canyon Productions, and HBO Sports made a documentary film about the CCNY Point Shaving Scandal,‎ City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal, that appeared on HBO.[8][9]


  1. ^ Nat Holman: The Man, His Legacy and CCNY. "The 1951 Basketball Scandal" - The City College Library - City College of New York
  2. ^ Goldstein, Joe. "Explosion: 1951 scandals threaten college hoops" - ESPN - November 19, 2003
  3. ^ Conrad, Mark. "Sportslaw History: The City College Scandal" - Mark's Sportslaw News
  4. ^ "The Big Money" - Time Magazine - February 26, 1951
  5. ^ Goldstein, Joe. "Explosion II: The Molinas period" - ESPN - November 19, 2003
  6. ^ Thompson, Wright. "For the 1951 point-shavers, a life lived in infamy" - ESPN - August 9, 2007
  7. ^ Callahan, Tom. "When Scandals Do Not Scandalize" - Time Magazine - November 30, 1981
  8. ^ Roy, George, and Steven Hilliard Stern. City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal. - Time Warner - Black Canyon Productions, and HBO Sports. March 24, 1998.
  9. ^ City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal. - IMDb

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