As if the Michael Vick saga has not tainted and turned off fans enough, a new scandal is hitting a National Football League player, that of point-shaving while in college. The FBI is investigating Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Bruce Gradkowski for his involvement in a point-shaving scandal while at Toledo. The second-year QB’s father is speaking out today, stating that there is no way whatsoever that Bruce is involved with the scandal.
Back in March, the FBI charged a former Toledo RB – Harvey “Scooter” McDougle Jr. with conspiring with a grocery store manager – Ghazi Manni, to fix outcomes of Toledo football and men’s basketball games from 2003 to 2006. The Toledo Blade says that while McDougle was the only player charged, that the investigation is ongoing.
The Bucs QB had his name brought up in the scandal by ESPN, and now his dad – Bruce Sr., is coming to his defense. “I know for a fact that my son is playing football only for the love of the game,” said Gradkowski’s father. “He’d never do anything to break his parents’ hearts. I know if something was on Bruce’s mind, he would have come to us when the allegations first started and he would have come clean. The only reason my kid was ever out on the football field was to win games.”
Gradkowski, who stated last week that he had met the grocery store owner – Manni, set 19 school passing records at Toledo. He was the Bucs 6th round selection of the 2006 draft, and started 11 games last season for the 4-12 Bucs. He has stated that he has nothing to do with any sort of point-shaving scandal at the school.