LGWS #9 Podcast: 1994-95 Northwestern Basketball Point Shaving Scandal

The 1994-95 Northwestern basketball team went 5-22, and yes, they were just as bad as their record indicates. That’s not why we’re talking about them today though, a quarter-century later. Two of their players ended up doing prison time for fraud after their point shaving activities were uncovered.

Yes, two members of that Northwestern Wildcats team were purposefully trying to lose by even more, in an effort to make money by helping NU lose by more points than the gambling spread in three Big Ten games that season. Let’s Get Weird, Sports episode 9 is a short podcast, we filled it out with an extra Northwestern story towards the end that you’ll want to hear.

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On Field Vids from Northwestern Upsetting #17 Wisconsin

Northwestern cheerleaders

By Paul M. Banks

With an upset at home over #17 Wisconsin, Northwestern finishes the regular season 8-4 overall, 5-3 in the Big Ten (tied for fourth place in the Big Ten with the Badgers). NU has compiled a 5-3 conference record four times since 2004 and also for a second consecutive season.

Some key facts and figures from today’s win

-Northwestern has won 17 games in back-to-back seasons, ranking only behind the 19 games won in 1995 and ’96, and the 18 won in 1903 and ’04. The Wildcats will have a chance to win their 18th game since the start of the 2008 season in their bowl game (bowl announcement will come no later than Sunday, Dec. 6).

-The Wildcats have won the last three games vs. Wisconsin in Evanston (2003, 2005 and 2009). NU is now 6-1 in games decided by seven points or less this season and now 24-6 in its last 30 games that were decided by seven or less.

Here’s the celebration between players, fans and students at midfield. You can see Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald walking past me, and avoiding the crowd. When I asked him about it in post game, he remarked “Those things obviously scare me. I’ve been on the field as as a player, as assistant coach, now as a Head Coach, when fans and others storm the field, it’s a pretty scary deal. Unfortunately, it’s part of the game, but I wish it was something we could try to eradicate. My first thought is for the safety, health and well-being of our players. Everyone made it to the locker room, so that was a good deal.”

NU Wide Receiver Andrew Brewer said, when I asked him about the midfield mosh pit  “I definitely enjoyed the fans and the mosh pit at midfield that was a very cool experience.”

And a key 3rd quarter play that helped make the victory possible. DE Corey Wootton sacking QB Scott Tolzien on a momentum changing 3rd down.

And finally, the school song sung in celebration. NUMB, players and cheerleaders altogether