DETROIT -- A former University of Toledo running back pleaded guilty Monday to working with a Detroit gambler accused of placing bets on football and basketball games, the third ex-Rocket to be convicted in a point-shaving probe.
Harvey "Scooter" McDougle Jr. of Cleveland said he accepted more than $5,000 from Ghazi "Gary" Manni in exchange for information about the Rockets in 2004-05. McDougle pleaded guilty to conspiracy to influence sports through bribery.
The former player said he talked to Manni on "numerous occasions" and also met with him in Detroit.
"He knowingly and voluntarily joined the conspiracy," Assistant U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin said.
The government doesn't allege that McDougle, now 26, altered his on-field performance to suit gamblers. But investigators have said he played a key role in recruiting basketball players to consider shaving points.
"I needed the cash and the groceries at the time. It was a bad mistake," McDougle told U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr.
Cook asked: "Is it fair to say you traded in your college education for a few dollars?"
Yes," McDougle replied.
Under sentencing guidelines, McDougle likely faces up to six months in custody when he returns to court on Sept. 22.
Ex-football player Quinton Broussard is scheduled for a guilty plea on Aug. 3. Charges are pending against three former basketball players: Anton Currie, Kashif Payne and Keith Triplett. All have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, along with Manni and Detroit businessman Mitchell "Ed" Karam.
The government's evidence includes secretly recorded phone calls involving Karam, Manni and players.