Nine parents arrested after allegedly gambling on children’s pee wee football games
We’ve all seen them – the parents that stand on the sidelines of their child’s sporting event screaming and cheering like a crazy person as their 9-year-old competes. For some parents in South Florida, however, the cheering was not necessarily about their child’s success but rather about turning a profit.
Authorities in Broward County, Fla. arrested nine men Tuesday after police allegedly uncovered a gambling ring centered on a children’s tackle football league. The stakes of the gambling ring were high: the championship game brought in wagers over $100,000.
The ring was discovered after an 18-month investigation which began when reporters from ESPN presented police with surveillance video that showed parents exchanging money in the stands at their children’s games. According to the report, coaches met before games to set the point spreads for the day. The report claims coaches did not throw games or encourage the children to run certain plays in order to profit.
Brandon Bivins, president of the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes, allegedly served as the ringleader of the operation. Bivins is a former convict who served time for cocaine possession, marijuana possession with intent to sell and grand theft auto. He was released from prison and now runs a barbershop that police say was a front for the gambling ring.
According to police, several of the arrested men also have extensive criminal histories.