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Published: Friday, 4/24/2009

Files shed light on gambling scheme; FBI says ex-Rocket aided point-shaving

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Adam Cuomo during 2003 UT football practice<br>
(THE BLADE)<br> Adam Cuomo during 2003 UT football practice<br> (THE BLADE)<br>
WADSWORTH / BLADE Enlarge

A former University of Toledo football player admitted to his participation in a point-shaving scheme involving UT football and basketball teams, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Detroit earlier this week.

According to the criminal complaint, originally filed last August, Adam Cuomo, who was a senior backup running back in 2003 for the Rockets, told FBI agents he began the point-shaving scheme with "Gary," who is believed to be Ghazi Manni of Sterling Heights, Mich.

The scheme is thought to have began in the fall of 2003 and continued until the winter of 2006.

Mr. Cuomo, of Hamilton, Ont., rushed just six times for 23 yards his senior season, but said he provided information to "Gary" about upcoming UT games to help "Gary" place bets on the games, according to the documents.

He also introduced "numerous" UT men's basketball and football players to "Gary" for the purpose of asking them to participate in point-shaving.

Harvey "Scooter" McDougle, who was charged in March of 2007 for recruiting UT football and basketball players for Mr. Manni (the charges were later dropped), told The Blade in August, 2007, that Mr. Cuomo first introduced him to Mr. Manni. Mr. McDougle was a freshman running back in 2003.

The documents show Mr. Cuomo was recorded on at least two wiretapped calls to "Gary" in December, 2005, including one on the morning of Dec. 21, 2005, the day of UT's appearance in the GMAC Bowl against the University of Texas at El Paso.

The complaint says Mr. Cuomo told "Gary" he was going to use a senior UT football player as an intermediary to convince a senior offensive lineman to help shave points in an upcoming game by committing penalties.

The Rockets won the GMAC Bowl 45-13.



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