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Police files tie Dupay bets to Gators

Documents show the ex- basketball player wagered ''only for Florida to win.''

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 17, 2002


GAINESVILLE -- Former Florida point guard Teddy Dupay asked another student to bet on Florida basketball games for him, according to documents from a University Police Department investigation into gambling on campus.

In police interview files, Joseph Sustaita, a Florida student, and his ex-girlfriend, Jill Stevens, said Dupay asked Sustaita to place bets for him on Gator games while still playing for the team.

The documents are public record because the investigation is closed.

Sustaita told investigators Dupay, 23, once asked if he would place a $200 bet for him, but because the point spread changed from what Dupay specified, Sustaita did not place the bet.

A third witness, Andrea Kavouklis, told investigators Stevens told her Dupay bet on Florida games but "only for Florida to win." Kavouklis also told investigators she once overheard a conversation between Dupay and his former roommate, Kresten Lagerman, in which they discussed basketball scores and Lagerman said, "We're up $200."

Lagerman moved in with Dupay to help the former Gator star recover after back surgery during his junior season. Lagerman later bet on games with inside help from Dupay and also bet on games for Dupay, the documents say. Dupay was declared ineligible in September. His attorney, Gilbert Schaffnit, said Dupay maintains his innocence of any gambling activity. Schaffnit reiterated Dupay never was the subject of the university's investigation and was never charged. "All of this for us is old news," Schaffnit said. "We knew way back then that this was going to be closed. No criminal charges are filed against him, and none are planned to my knowledge."

The UPD files also show three of Dupay's former teammates, Brett Nelson, Brent Wright and Udonis Haslem, told authorities Dupay had talked about betting on sporting events, including in the locker room. Investigators also found Web sites that discuss point spreads and predictions on the hard drive of Dupay's computer. "Nelson said Dupay would bring a newspaper into the locker room and would talk about games and point spreads," the UPD report says. "Wright said during the middle of their basketball season, he overheard Dupay talking about winning some money on a game. During the same period, Dupay has also talked about losing money on games."

Dupay also "routinely" borrowed the cell phones of Haslem and Nelson on road trips, but neither was sure why or knew whom he called.

Nelson brought the matter to the attention of Florida officials when he told then-administrative assistant Tom Ostrom Dupay was possibly involved in placing bets on sporting events.

Ostrom promised Nelson he would not tell anyone but later said he believed what Nelson told him "was serious in nature" and relayed the information to coach Billy Donovan.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley and compliance director Jamie McCloskey then were called in. McCloskey contacted UPD, whose investigation began in April 2001. Interviews were conducted through July.

"Sometimes I wish this went to court," Dupay told the (Fort Myers) News-Press. "This has turned my life upside down. I was backed into a corner. I couldn't talk about what happened when they showed me the police report, about the people who lied and stabbed me in the back to help themselves."

Dupay told the newspaper the students had been intimidated and tricked by police and denied betting on games to UPD investigators.

"Dupay said he has never been involved in any type of gambling or betting activities and has never directly or indirectly been associated with a bookmaker," the report says. Dupay said he would sometimes "joke" about a game being fixed in front of other people.

Foley said Tuesday the university's knowledge of the investigation prompted its actions against Dupay last fall.

"Obviously, we felt like we did the right thing from the start," Foley said. "We were involved (with the police) from the beginning of the process. So when we made the decision, we believed it was the proper thing to do."

The UPD investigation centered on Lagerman, a Palm Harbor resident, but included others from the Tampa Bay area, including Stevens, a Florida soccer player, Kavouklis, a former USF soccer player and 2000 graduate, and USF basketball South Florida coach Seth Greenberg.

According to UPD documents, Greenberg heard about Dupay's alleged gambling through a friend. Greenberg called Donovan to alert him.

"(Greenberg) is not aware of any specific details pertaining to Dupay," the documents say. "He merely passed on the information provided to him."

Greenberg declined to comment, saying, "I only have one concern, and that's South Florida basketball."

The state closed its case when Lagerman agreed to a deferred prosecution deal this year, according to Gainesville State Attorney Bill Cervone, who said no charges are expected to be filed against Dupay.

"The reality of the situation was he paid a pretty stiff price with his expulsion from the team, voluntary or involuntary," Cervone said. "It did not seem to us that anything more would be accomplished by a long-term legal process. He's a first-time offender, and it was a relatively minor offense in legal terms."

But by NCAA standards, it was much more. By reporting the matter, Florida saved itself from a potential NCAA investigation.

It would have been in violation of NCAA rules only if the university knew of Dupay's gambling. But under NCAA rules, Dupay's involvement with known gamblers was enough to cost him his eligibility. Any athlete involved in point-shaving or betting on his own school is banned from the NCAA for life.

"There is a clear distinction between activities related to Florida gambling laws and what could be a violation of a lesser standard of NCAA violations," Schaffnit said. "That was the standard by which Teddy left the team. He couldn't be charged with a crime. But his leaving the team had to do with the association with people who are known gamblers."

The 5-foot-10 guard was not drafted by the NBA in April but played one game for the Orlando Magic's summer league team Saturday. He was not invited to play with the team in the Boston Summer League.

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