THE RESIGNATION of two employees of the Washington Bullets basketball team appears to have ended an unpleasant episode. According to news reports, the Prince George's County police were investigating the two team employee's alleged participation in a betting scheme. While the investigation has apparently ended without any charges or indictments, the employees have, nevertheless, resigned. They should have. Their continued association with a professional sports team, no matter in what capacity, would have invited suspicion and cynicism.
It is undoubtedly correct for the Bullets to accept the resignation of any team employee who has come under a cloud of involvement with gambling. But it would be a mistake for area residents to allow this episode to taint their view of the local team or their belief in the credibility of the outcome of games in the National Basketball Association. According to Prince George's police officials, whatever gambling took place was limited to people in the team's front office -- not open to the public or involving team players or top officials -- and was on horse racing only. There were no bets on basketball. The gambling that was reported on horses did not exceed $100 a day, according to the police, a sum that is tiny in comparison with gambling in pools that takes place in law offices, newspapers and government buildings every day in this town.
Betting in any association with a professional sports team is improper. But there is a difference between fixing a game or shaving points from the final margin of victory to allow a gambler to win a bet and smalltime betting on the horses.