"This is the most serious and worst situation I have ever experienced."
That's what NBA Commissioner David Stern said at a hastily called News Conference Tuesday regarding the alleged betting scandal surrounding referee Tim Donaghy.
Stern says he was first contacted by the FBI on June 20th about Donaghy's alleged betting on games, possibly involving some he reffed..but says the FBI told him not to fire Donaghy, so their investigation could continue.
Donaghy, a 13-year veteran who worked almost 800 games in his career, including many involving the Memphis Grizzlies, was put under the Justice Departments' spotlight when an investigation into organized crime in New York City turned up his name.
Stern says Donaghy resigned July 9th.
"If you bet on a game, you lose the benefit of the doubt. I think we are going to maintain the confidence of the fans who are shaken as we are."
Stern says his understanding now is Donaghy acted as one rogue criminal.
He says the League is upgrading its' screening process on officials, and is working closely with the FBI to bring all involved to justice.