The Big Ten released a statement Friday saying they had investigated two suspicious games referee Steve Pamon and his crew worked and concluded that gambling had no influence on the outcome of either game. The second game featured a non-call that most of you probably remember all too well.
In December 2007, published reports cast suspicion on the integrity of two Big Ten football games that were played during the 2007 season; specifically, the Purdue-Penn State game and the Ohio State-Illinois game. The reports were based on certain information related to the personal background of a Big Ten football official, Steve Pamon. Some of the articles also reported that a disproportionate amount of money allegedly had been bet on the games called into question.
This investigation included, among other things, working with representatives of law enforcement, outside legal counsel, a private investigative firm, Las Vegas Sports Consultants, Inc., and the NCAAâ€™s Agents, Gambling, and Amateurism staff. The conference also spoke with Pamon. In the final analysis, the conference has found no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the integrity of either 2007 game discussed in the published reports was compromised.
Delaney issued a statement that read in part:
We will increase the frequency of our checks to an annual review for all officials instead of a periodic review every few years. In addition, we will enhance our monitoring and oversight of officialsâ€™ gambling activities that are legal yet unrelated to sports. Officials will be required to disclose any non-sports-related gambling activities, and they will be prohibited from engaging in these activities during the period of time encompassing their officiating assignments.
The Pamon investigation became a necessity for the league after reports of Pamon's shady past came out. The Big Ten may have cleared him of any type of gambling-related stench, but given his past, is it unfair to ask whether the Illinois native may have bit his whistle on the fumble-that-wasn't and the Benn pick?
While the statement didn't explicitly spell-out Pamon's future with the conference, given the fact that he was placed on three years of double-secret probation in the late '90s would lead me to believe his next big game will come in the Illinois state playoffs.
UPDATE: Nothing in the way of hard details, but the Tribune is saying Pamon will not be working any more games for the Big Ten.