Marv Harshman, outgoing president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said today the FBI has "expressed concern about possible point shaving in several games played this season."
Harshman, coach of the University of Washington, told members of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association this morning that the FBI had asked the coaches to help them look at films of some games to see if they could discern any irregularities.
"This is our major concern as a group right now," Harshman said. "In light of what has become public this season (allegations that Boston College players shaved points in 1978-79), we are quite worried about the gambling situation. I'm not sure whether we as coaches can help the FBI by looking at film, but we have told them we will cooperate with them in any way we can."
An FBI spokesman confirmed that the bureau's investigation into point-shaving allegations is continuing, but would not comment on specifics.
Harshman said that concerns over gambling and recruiting violations "dominated the conversations" of coaches in convention here during the NCAA tournament.
He told the writers that the coaches strongly disapproved of newspapers running point spreads because it only encourges gambling. "For some reason this seems to happen more often in basketball and it is unfortunate," Harshman said. "It is something we have to watch very carefully."
In recent years coaches have taken to bringing in law enforcement agents, before a season starts, to speak to their players about gambling.
In the Boston College case, the U.S. Attorney's office in New York is investigating statements by Henry Hill, a convicted felon facing indictment on drug charges, that he paid Boston College cocaptains Jim Sweeney and Ernie Cobb and teammate Rick Kuhn to shave points in nine games.
No indictments have been handed down in that case. Investigators are said to believe they need additional evidence to support Hill's statements before bringing any formal charges.