The University Record, October 21, 1998

Franzese to explore gambling in collegiate athletics

By Bruce Madej
Athletic Department

The University will begin a new assault on the gambling problem confronting intercollegiate athletics when it brings Michael Franzese, a former major organized crime figure of the 1970s and 1980s, to campus to speak to student-athletes and others.

“Gambling is one of the problems facing all sports today,” says Athletic Director Tom Goss. “To think it can’t happen on your campus is naive. We want our students to be aware of the problem and how it can affect them.

All student-athletes will be urged to hear Franzese at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Cliff Keen Arena. Franzese will address Athletic Department administrative staff at 9 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Arena.

“We are not limiting the Oct. 25 evening speech to just student-athletes,” Goss adds. “We are inviting anyone in the U-M student body to come and listen to this program.”

Franzese was the boss of a major illegal gambling operation that involved wagering on both professional and college athletes. He will talk about college bookmaking operations around the country and their connections to organized crime; the methods bookmakers and organized crime use to target college athletes; and how college athletes can recognize and prevent an attempt by a bookmaker or other individual to have them influence the outcome of a game.

This is only one of the items the U-M will bringing to the table regarding gambling and intercollegiate athletics. Athletic Department staff members Michael Cross, Ann Vollano and Derrick Gragg are preparing a nationwide survey on intercollegiate athletics and gambling that will be ready in December.

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