The FBI and Al McGuire: Marquette’s Close Call With Point Shaving


Okay, I am already bracing for the scathing emails for even posting this story, given the local god-like status McGuire has in Milwaukee. But hear me out. I am only posting this because it’s an interesting read, and my friend Brian Tuohy has been doing great work digging up documents from the FBI regarding sports consipracies for a series of books he has written. So….

This is the story of the McGuire brothers — Al, Dick and John — and the FBI investigation surrounding them (view the FBI file here; also embedded at the end of the article).

It all began with a tip about point shaving. On March 29, 1971, the FBI field office in Kansas City received disturbing information from a source within the NCAA, which was relayed in a memo to FBI headquarters the following day. The memo read, in part: “This source advised that Al McGuire may be involved in gambling activities and may have controlled the point spreads of Marquette’s basketball games during the past basketball season.” Point shaving was a grave threat to the integrity of college basketball, serious enough that the NCAA chose to refer the matter to the FBI, rather than just investigate internally. McGuire allegedly had been picked up in a gambling raid as well, though local Milwaukee authorities “squashed” the story and released McGuire without filing any charges.

I’m glad the net-net of it, was that McGuire was cleared and that Marquette never had to live with the stain of point-shaving like Arizona State and Boston College, among others. In the meantime, let’s all not be so naive as to think we’ve seen or heard of the LAST major point shaving scandal in college or pro sports.


  1. The forgotten man in that photo is pure class — Wisconsin coach John Powless. He is an unbelievable tennis player and ambassador for the game at the senior level. John Powless is currently ranked as the world’s number one singles player for 80 and over. Previous to this, in 75 and over, he held on to his #1 ranking despite the fact that he has had both knees replaced; one in 2007 and the other in 2008.


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