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The quickest way to corrupt an athlete is to help him run up a gambling tab he can't pay, says FBI special agent Jon Bunn, who briefs college men's and women's basketball teams during the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA basketball tournament. The jock then has a choice: Cough up cash he doesn't have or "provide a service," Bunn says.
"They come from behind on the court, so they can think they can come from behind in the gambling arena. But it doesn't end up that way. They wind up further in the hole," he says.
Manni, for example, would place wagers for the athletes with his cash, then pay them the profits if they won, according to an FBI affidavit. Electronic surveillance on Manni's phone captured McDougle asking the gambler to bet $2,000 for him on the GMAC Bowl between Toledo and the University of Texas-El Paso on Dec. 21, 2005.
"Gary informed McDougle that another player would be helping out," reads the affidavit.
Toledo won 45-13.
In a phone call in November 2005, according to the affidavit, the FBI heard Manni telling a Rockets basketball player, "Scooter had taken care of certain players on the team who would be helping (Manni) influence a game that day."
Wining and dining:
Gamblers seduce athletes with fancy dinners, booze and drugs and set up opportunities for sex. Manni invited the players he met in Toledo to join him in Detroit for free dinners and paid gambling sprees at the Greektown Casino downtown, the FBI affidavit says.
Similarly, when New York gangster Henry Hill first met two Boston College men's basketball players involved in that point-shaving scheme, he paid them $500 apiece just to have dinner with him. Hill says he also plied the players with free booze, cocaine and prostitutes.
A bribe of $10,000-plus will often persuade a reluctant athlete to cross over to the dark side, says Michael Franzese, a former Mafia soldier-turned-anti-gambling crusader.
Manni offered an unnamed football player "up to $10,000 to sit out particular games," according to the FBI affidavit. Nearly three decades ago, Hill says he paid three Boston College men's basketball players about $10,000 apiece to shave points in nine games during 1978-79.
"There's a certain number with these kids and it's $10,000," Franzese says. "You buy them a dinner, put a few bucks in their pocket, and you've got them."
--Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY
Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) firmly positioned himself as the finest Soviet director of the post-War period. But his influence extended well beyond the Soviet Union. The Cahiers du cinéma consistently ranked his films on their top ten annual lists. Ingmar Bergman went so far as to say, “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.” And Akira Kurosawa acknowledged his influence too, adding, “I love all of Tarkovsky’s films. I love his personality and all his works. Every cut from his films is a marvelous image in itself.”
Shot between 1962 and 1986, Tarkovsky’s seven feature films often grapple with metaphysical and spiritual themes, using a distinctive cinematic style. Long takes, slow pacing and metaphorical imagery – they all figure into the archetypical Tarkovsky film.