Nine arrests were made by the Broward County Sheriff's Department as part of an 18-month investigation on illegal gambling and youth football.
Gambling, let alone illegal gambling, is popular in sports. Illegal gambling is especially popular in sports as shown in sports scandals in the media. A recent illegal gambling scandal has been made which led to nine arrests so far. This recent scandal could be considered to be shocking and appalling to many. In short, illegal gambling has seeped its way into youth-league football and the young players themselves were the unknowing and unwitting pawns in the gambling ring. For quite some time, this scandal could adversely affect South Florida's youth football games.
The nine arrests made were part of an 18-month long investigation by the Broward County Sheriff's Department. However, the investigation started when authorities received surveillance video courtesy of ESPN. In the video, parents exchanged cash with each other in the open. It was revealed that over $100K was wagered. As a result of the video, the Broward County Sheriff's Department launched the investigation called “Operation Dirty Play.”
What makes the scandal even more scandalous is that those arrested were coaches and team associates. Instead of putting a stop to the scandal, the coaches even participated. To add further pain, those arrested have direct ties to the South Florida Youth Football League which has many players from impoverished neighborhoods.
The biggest arrest was of Brandon Bivins who is called “Coach B.” According to authorities, Coach B was the leader of this illegal gambling ring. Bevins was the president of the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes which is considered one of the most successful youth teams. Investigators further learned that Bevins ran betting out of a fake barbershop which was used as a front to hide the operation.
Out of the nine people that are facing charges for illegal gambling, six of them have criminal charges. Such charges are drug charges, assault charges, etc. Bevins, or Coach B, is by no means an exception. It is learned that Bevins had eight felony convictions in Florida.
With other circumstances and information, other arrests and charges can be made on a variety of factors and so forth. This scandal shows that illegal gambling has made it into youth football. It shows that there are other similar scandals going on and that youth athletes will continue to be used as unknowing pawns in such operations.