Monday, December 5, 2011

Point Shaving in the NCAA

A few weeks ago, Hawaiian police were investigating whether the University of Hawaii football team was "point shaving". Point shaving is when a team intentionally reduces their effort so that the outcome of the game falls on one side or the other of the "point spread" - the number of points that book makers set in sports betting markets.

Economists have looked into this type of behavior previously as I blogged about a number of years ago, and today in Sports Economics we will look at this research - which in no way is conclusive. Some of the readers of the Wages of Wins blog were unimpressed, so I wrote a response to some of the critics of this research.

The USA Today reported that point shaving may have occurred at the University of Toledo in 2007, and subsequently in 2008 the FBI initiated an investigation of a the University of Toledo football player in regard to point shaving. The FBI football point shaving investigation also spilled over to the Toledo University basketball team. In 2009, indictments handed in Toledo point shaving case.

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