Former ASU Player Sentenced


Former Arizona State basketball player Stevin "Hedake" Smith was sentenced to a year in prison Monday for shaving points during the 1993-94 season, partly to pay off a gambling debt.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Broomfield also sentenced Smith to three years' probation, fined him $8,000 and prohibited him from gambling. He was ordered to surrender to federal authorities by Dec. 13 to begin serving his sentence.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sports bribery in 1997.

"I realize what I did was wrong," Smith said in court Monday. "I wish I could redo it."

He apologized to his mother, the university and then-coach Bill Frieder, who left ASU in part because of the scandal. Frieder did not immediately respond to a phone message Monday.

Smith and his attorney, George Klink, declined to comment following the sentencing, as did officials at Arizona State.

Prosecutors said Smith fixed four games, partly to erase a $10,000 gambling debt to Benny Silman, the mastermind of the scheme. Smith was paid roughly $100,000 for the first three games; he never received the $50,000 he was to get for the fourth.

Silman, who arranged the point shaving with Smith, is serving a 46-month prison sentence for his role in scam.

Isaac Burton Jr., the only other player to be indicted, was sentenced in June to two months in jail, six months of home detention and three years' probation. He received $4,300 from Smith to help shave points in two of the games.

Smith's attorney asked the court for probation, citing Smith's cooperation with authorities, his decision not to shave points during the fifth game as planned and his inability to play professionally overseas this year.

He said Smith, who holds ASU's career record for steals and is No. 3 in scoring, is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection.

"An NBA career is out the window. ... These actions have already impacted him greatly," Klink said.

Broomfield said he couldn't sentence Smith to probation, citing the damage to ASU's reputation and noting Smith was the center of the conspiracy.

"Without you, it wouldn't have happened," Broomfield told Smith in court, though he acknowledged that others helped.

Bets were placed on five ASU games in Las Vegas between December 1993 and May 1994. Four were fixed successfully, prosecutors said. The bettors reportedly lost all their money in the last game, against Washington, when the Sun Devils came back to beat the point spread.

After Silman and Smith agreed to the scheme, Silman brought in Joseph Gagliano, who in turn told Joseph and Dominic Mangiamele and Vincent Basso about the fixed games. The gamblers received various sentences in June, some including jail time.

Another defendant, Anthony Joseph Frank, was accused of paying Smith to fix the fifth game without being aware of the gamblers tied up in the main conspiracy. He as acquitted at trial.

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