August 22, 1997 in Sports

Top Scorer For Asu Targeted Hedake Smith’s Name Surfaces As Key In Point-Shaving Probe

Eric Miller Arizona Republic

A federal grand jury investigation into accusations of point-shaving in the Arizona State University basketball program is focusing on three former players, including the team’s all-time leading scorer, The Arizona Republic has learned.

The grand jury is investigating accusations that former point guard Stevin “Hedake” Smith received tens of thousands of dollars from a gambler who bet heavily against ASU during four games in early 1994, according to sources familiar with the federal inquiry. Two other unnamed players also may have received money, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal investigators are looking into accusations that the gambler, whose name sources would not reveal, paid the players to either lose games or keep them close enough so ASU did not cover the point spread. It allowed the gambler and others to win large wagers made against ASU.

Smith, 25, could not be reached for comment. His mother, reached in Dallas, said he had been playing basketball in France, but she believed he is back in the United States.

ASU basketball coach Bill Freider, through a school spokesman, declined to comment.

Earlier this year, Stevin Smith said he knew nothing about the FBI probe. Contacted while playing with Sioux Falls of the Continental Basketball Association, he would only say, “I’m in the CBA. I don’t know (expletive).”

Smith played with ASU in 1990-94 and holds the school’s individual record for most career points (1,673) and 3-point field goals (316).

The grand jury probe is not Smith’s first brush with the law.

He was one of four ASU basketball players sentenced in April 1992 to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service for fraudulent use of a telephone credit card.

The sentence came after Smith, Dwayne Fontana, Lynn Collins and Jamal Faulkner pleaded guilty to illegally charging $13,474.21 to a university credit-card number issued to an assistant coach.

Earlier this month, The Republic reported that a source said the gambler who paid the players to shave points dropped more than $1 million on the last of the four games, a March 5 contest between ASU and Washington.

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