Bill Walker (Toledo basketball)
|Photo from The Blade, July 29, 1951|
Queens, New York
William "Bill" Walker (born c. 1926) was an American basketball player best known for his collegiate career at the University of Toledo between 1948–49 and 1950–51. He was a native of Queens, New York and played the guard position. Walker was known as an excellent dribbler and passer, and in the 1950–51 NCAA men's basketball season he became the first officially recorded national season assists leader with his 7.24 per game average.
It was during that season, his senior year, that he became embroiled in a point-shaving scandal from which he and teammates were eventually caught. The game occurred on December 15, 1950 against Niagara. The Toledo Rockets were supposed to win by four points or fewer, but as the game dwindled down they realized they were winning by close to 20 points. After several minutes of intentionally mis-dribbling the basketball and throwing "errant" passes to make the score closer, the Rockets eventually won by only three points. This game rose suspicion among spectators that a fix was occurring, and after an investigation the team was found to be involved with the wide scale point-shaving scandal sweeping east coast universities. Walker graduated that spring just six weeks before the accusal.
Prior to enrolling at Toledo, Walker had served in the United States Navy. At the time of his college graduation he was 25 years old, was married and had fathered one son. Walker showed remorse for his involvement in the scandal. In a July 29, 1951 issue of The (Toledo) Blade, he was quoted as saying, "In the end all this scandal will help a lot of kids and a lot of schools. My own boy will never make the same mistake I did."
- "William Walker career". FanBase. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- Rosen, Charley (1999). Scandals of '51: How the Gamblers Almost Killed College Basketball (1st ed.). New York, NY: Seven Stories Press. pp. 147–151. ISBN 1-888363-91-6.
- "2010–11 NCAA Men's Basketball Records" (PDF). 2010–11 NCAA Men's Basketball Media Guide. National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- "Toledo Trio Latest Confessed Fixers in Basketball Scandal", The Milwaukee Journal, July 25, 1951: 6
- Rothman, Seymour (July 29, 1951). "Gambler Warned to Lay off Bush". The (Toledo) Blade. Retrieved November 7, 2011.