HSOT Today

Pa. police: Ex-coach tried to fix youth basketball

Posted May 14, 2010

A former church-league basketball coach tried to bribe referees to rig games in his favor, state police said in charges filed Thursday.

Michael Kman, 45, of the Harrisburg suburb of Enola, sent a series of anonymous calls and text messages to the officials last year to get them to help the Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church boy's basketball team, police said in a complaint.

District court officials said Thursday afternoon the judge had not signed the arrest warrant. Kman declined to comment and hung up when contacted by a reporter.

The arrest affidavit said Kman offered the referees, who are brothers, $2,500 to fix two games and promised more if they showed they could be trusted with lower-level contests.

Investigators were able to track one of the phones to Kman's wife. They said that Kman, when interviewed, admitted that he tried to influence the officials.

"Kman stated that he was very frustrated with the officials and felt that his team was never getting a fair game," wrote Trooper Timothy Reinoehl. "Kman stated that he was never going to pay anyone money, he just thought he could get them (to) give his team a chance on the court."

State police accused him of solicitation to rig a publicly exhibited contest, rigging a publicly exhibited contest and harassment.

The pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Rev. Michael Grab, said he had not been aware of the allegations against Kman and had no comment about them. Grab said Kman coached his final game for the team earlier this spring.

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