Metta World Peace Was Offered $35,000 To Throw Games At St. John’s

    With college basketballs history of scandals related to paying players and impermissible benefits being funneled to recruits and their families, some people werent too happy when the Supreme Court cleared the way on Monday for states to legalize sports betting, striking down a 1992 federal law that had prohibited most states from authorizing sports betting. 

    Its open season for betting on college basketball for whatever state that chooses to go that route. The relationship between the NCAA and its top student athletes is already a contentious one as former players, fans and media have recently attacked the governing body for exploiting its athletes and making billions off the backs and likenesses of kids who arent guaranteed anything but an education. 

    The restrictions on student-athletes makes it very hard for them to work and the commitment leaves little time for studies. Many of the scholarship students are from underserved backgrounds and struggling to live, which makes them easily exploitable by boosters, agents and sheisty middlemen working on behalf of the university to lure recruits. 

    When the news broke about the Supreme Courts ruling, speculation about how such activity would affect the integrity of college sports was rampant. 

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    Ron Artest says he was offered $35,000 to ‘throw a game’ https://t.co/OWdiarAys3

    While promoting his new book, No Malice: My Life in Basketball or: How a Kid from Queensbridge Survived the Streets, the Brawls, and Himself to Become an NBA Champion,
    Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, told Yahoo Sports about the can of worms the government may have opened up. 

    Artest grew up in the Queensbridge projects, struggling with  a mother and multiple siblings. He knew that basketball would eventually be his ticket out of the hood, but as a college player at St. John’s and a guy who could be found hooping it up in what some would call shifty tournaments, Artest says any number of bettors approached him offering financial rewards for him to throw games.  

    Bullies, World Peace called them.

    I see the issues with betting, and Ive been approached in college, he said. I got approached a couple times to throw games. The one interesting time, they come to me in my neighborhood and said, Hey, I got $35,000 for you. Im like, Alright, thats cool, Ill take $35,000. They said, We need you to throw a game. Thats when Im like, You [expletive]. But it crossed my mind $35,000 to throw a game? Not bad.

    But thats the problem. They find these kids that dont have any money, and they attack them. What if I was some kid that was a little scared, like, OK, Ill do it. Thats the problem I have with betting, because these guys who are betting, theyre bullies. Some of them are bullies. Theyll force a kid into a situation, and then when the kids trying to go to the NBA, they hold it against the kid.

    Pro players make millions of dollars and the majority of them dont need to throw games, but as more states choose to legalize gambling, the effect it will have on college sports is yet to be seen. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.