That corruption exists in professional sports is obvious, often caused by gambling. Usually when players get caught fixing results they face punishments of fines or suspension and exclusion form the game. Last week though, three Pakistani cricketers were sentenced to jail for periods ranging from six to thirty months for agreeing to fix games in return for money, in addition to fines and suspensions.
The deals between the gamblers and the players were arranged by an intermediary but the way that the players signaled to the bettors that they were in on the deal was by bowling a ‘no ball’ at a pre-determined point in the game. For those not familiar with cricket, the closest analogous situation in baseball is where a pitcher balks. This is a fairly rare event but one that is totally within the control of the pitcher and can be done at will.
Though I used to be a fan, I am now frankly sick of professional sports, and this includes the big college sports programs that seem to provide a steady stream of scandals, the most recent one being the disgusting one emerging from Penn State. I still pay casual attention to it but it increasingly seems like big business, not sport anymore, with all the venality that accompanies it.