Oh Florida, you never cease to amaze me…and I live in Ohio, so that is really saying something.
Earlier this week, 9 men in Broward County, just outside of Miami, were arrested in connection with a huge gambling ring that was centered around youth football games. Several of the arrested men were reportedly coaches in the league and had extensive criminal backgrounds.
The World Wide Leader tipped off authorities when they turned over surveillance that showed parents exchanging money in the stands during the football games. It was reported that more than $100,000 was wagered on the league championship.
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The lines for the games were determined by the coaches before hand but authorities say they believe the games were not rigged in anyway for a favorable outcome. So, even thought it is illegal and immoral, at least they were fair. Also, they claim that there is no evidence that the children were aware of the bets being made. Then again, this is Florida, so I wouldn’t be all that surprised if a few of the kids were throwing the games for a little something on side.
This was no small operation either. The ringleader, according to police, was Brandon Bivins aka “Coach B” who had not one, but two, gambling houses. One of which was fronted by a fully stocked barber shop and sounds as if it was straight out of a movie.
Bivins ran a fake barbershop, complete with barber stations and vending machines, as a front for a gambling house, according to an affidavit. Behind what appeared to be a closet door was a narrow hallway leading to a seedy gambling room where Bivins and others took bets on professional, college and youth games behind conspicuously dark tinted windows.
How Coach B and his accomplices were allowed any where near these children is beyond me. There should be a thorough background check on every single coach or official in ANY youth sports. Coach B had 9 felony convictions including aggravated assault with a weapon, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, grand theft and others. He shouldn’t be allowed within 500 feet of children yet here he is “coaching” them. Then again, should any of these morons be surprised? There was a ESPN Outside The Lines special on it! Here’s a tip for you guys, if a national news outlet is running a story on the gambling you are doing illegally, perhaps — and this is just me spitballing — you should knock it off or maybe try to be a little more discreet.