Unholy Toledo!

A new gambling scandal rocks the Rockets
August 17, 2008

LAST YEAR, afterformer Toledo running back Harvey (Scooter) McDougle was charged withattempting to fix Rockets football and basketball games from 2003 to '06, UTpresident Lloyd Jacobs and Ohio attorney general Marc Dann appointed a specialcounsel to interview all Toledo football and basketball players. It was anattempt to increase control over an athletic department possibly rife withcorruption. Smart move: Last week federal prosecutors in Detroit chargedex--Rockets point guard Sammy Villegas with taking bribes to shave points inthe 2004--05 and 2005--06 seasons. If convicted, Villegas, 25, who now playsprofessionally in the Dominican Republic, faces up to five years in prison.

Prosecutors sayVillegas met with or talked by phone to an unnamed conspirator 10 times in 2005and '06 and that on Feb. 4, 2006, he intentionally missed free throws in a16-point win over Central Michigan. (Toledo was a 15 1/2-point favorite.) Thealleged scheme dovetailed with a senior slump in which Villegas, who averaged13.8 points as a sophomore, averaged only six points.

Villegas's playraised eyebrows even then. In January 2006 UT coach Stan Joplin told The ToledoBlade, "I just can't explain what has happened to Sammy." And R.J.Bell, of the betting website Pregame, says people in Las Vegas sensed somethingfishy: "I was getting two or three sources telling me to look out forToledo on a given night."

Villegas's agentsays his client is cooperating with authorities but wouldn't speak toreporters. Prosecutors did not set a trial date but did specify a sentencingdate of Nov. 18, an indication that Villegas may be close to a plea deal. A UTspokesman insists McDougle and Villegas were "isolated" cases. (Thecharges against McDougle were dropped, but authorities say an investigation isongoing.) "We did a pretty intensive review of the culture and ethos of ourprogram a year ago," the spokesman says, "and we have completeconfidence."

The Pop CultureGrid

How do sports stars fit in? The Jonas Brothers (below) remind me of ... Favorite Olympian of all time Number of pillows on your bed ______ used to be hot. Now, not so much Manny is ...
D.J. Williams Broncos LB A boy band that cares too much about hair Flo-Jo (above) At least 12. It's my mother's fault Baggy clothes and big chains with your name onit My idol
Juli Inkster LPGA Screaming teenage girls JJ Thomas Seven Walkmen In Dodger blue. Gag!
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Bengals WR My kids Maurice Green and Michael Johnson In training camp? One Britney Spears Very eccentric
Edgar Gonzalez Padres 2B Nothing Carl Lewis Four Britney Spears Awesome

Go Figure

$138
Average price on the resale website StubHub of a ticket to a Jets 2008 homegame on Aug. 6.

$252.83
Average price of a Jets ticket on StubHub on Aug. 7, the day Brett Favre wastraded to New York.

.453
Combined winning percentage of the five NL West teams this season.

.453
Combined winning percentage of the 2002 AL Central, the lowest full-seasondivisional mark since baseball realigned in 1994.

$172,500
Amount pocketed by Ohio University offensive lineman Mike Eynon after taxes formatching five of six numbers in the Aug. 5 Mega Millions lottery.

21--1
Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt's career record against the Reds; the righty's .955winning percentage is the highest for any pitcher against a single team(minimum 20 decisions) in major league history.

175
Strikeouts by the Giants' Tim Lincecum this season, the most in the majors.

110
Years since a Giants pitcher has led the majors in strikeouts; Cy Seymour didit in 1898.

PHOTOANDY MORRISON/THE BLADE (VILLEGAS)TANK BATTLE Villegas (right) allegedly shaved points as a junior and senior. PHOTOTONY DUFFY/GETTY IMAGES (FLO-JO) PHOTOMATT A. BROWN/ICON SMI (RAMIREZ) PHOTOALEX CAO/GETTY IMAGES (PILLOWS) PHOTOCHRIS PIZZELLO/AP (JONAS BROTHERS) PHOTOETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES (WILLIAMS) PHOTOFRED VUICH (INKSTER) PHOTOKIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT/US PRESSWIRE (HOUSHMANDZADEH) PHOTORICH KANE/ICON SMI (GONZALEZ) THREE PHOTOS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)