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Dissection of the Point Shaving Non-Scandal

Although I hate to dignify unsubstantiated rumors with a response, it seems like every jokester in the world is signing up for SBN just to spread these point shaving rumors in advance of tonight's rivalry game versus UConn.  

What you'll see below is a forensic analysis of what those who understand "logic" refer to as a "closed loop feedback cycle."

Google is a wonderful tool.  Simply type "Syracuse Point Shaving" and here's what comes up:

This SportsMemo.com blog, an online gambling site, that attempts to link to this CNY Central article, which you can see lands you on a "Service Unavailable" page.  In fact, the entire CNY Central server is down.

Covers.com cites WYNN's Andy Adamson, who Facebook'd and Tweeted the rumors.  It also gives credence to D.A. over at OrangeFizz for discrediting the rumor.

As many have stated before, Andy Adamson has gone private with his Twitter account.

Various UNC, UConn, Notre Dame, and general NCAA message boards are swirling the rumors, too, citing back to either the Covers.com mention, or the PocketFives.com mention... again, same single source of no journalistic credibility.

I found this board to be a fair representation of what's keeping these rumors afloat (and I use that term loosely:  they really aren't that widespread).  To quote message board user DoctorFunk, "I'm doing my best to propagate this rumor to all my Syracuse friends."  Also, user VandyHawks adds the little gem that his fraternity brother started the PocketFives site and sold it for a few million.  This is especially interesting, considering it's a Kansas Jayhawks fan site.  What's even more outrageous is another user expressing his/her hopes that Syracuse vacates its 2003 title because of this and it's somehow rewarded to the Jayhawks (in what is surely an illogical sequence of aspired events).

Website Cappersmall.com has the rumor in this forum (again, I ask who is that?).  They link back to Bleacher Report, another article that has seemingly disappeared from existence. If we consider message board users to be credible sources, which is all that's been sourced to this point, then I would like to give credibility to user ILikeToParty in both my enjoyment of partying and his statement, "Sounds like the writer or twitter-er or whoever lost a ton of $ on that game and he's pissed."

Cincinnati Bearcats message board posted the rumor, again citing Adamson and his since-vanquished Twitter and Facebook accounts.  To Bearcats fans' credit, they rip apart the rumors and predict Adamson is seeking a new career.

The funny thing is that over at the PocketFives message board, they say that Adamson ran with it after hearing it on their site.  They claim it was just some rumor out of nowhere, and no one on the thread gave it credibility.   They're more amazed at how fast the rumor spread because of their little limited discussion.  I agree with them, it is amazing.  Their comments are that the situation is "amazing" and "absurd."

They do, however, go on to quote--who else--but Casual Hoya, and user NickBloomfield's rundown of when Syracuse has failed to cover the spread, which NickBloomfield himself claims is completely narrow with the intention of showing only data the supports the rumor, while ignoring data that defies it.

I'd also like to let the record show that username JRoth15 lays down the law on a guy I've met before through several different random social circles, Bob Futon from VT.  Bob Futon wonders why Adamson would be fired if the rumor turns out to be true.  JRoth15 responds saying that the guy never had a source to begin with.  Bob Futon, go back to UVMDudeMan.com.  If you don't, I'll call Ethan and have him smack you upside the head.

What's happened here is this:

  1) Some banter on a gambling message board laments at Syracuse's record against the spread.

  2) Someone says, "Sheesh it looks like point shaving."

  3) Some no-name wannabe hack reporter sees it and tries to "break the story" citing the message board as his anonymous source.  He obviously wants to make a name for himself on the off-chance that there's any basis to it, ignorant that his career will screech to a halt when it never materializes as truth.

  4) It goes viral, people referencing back to the wannabe journalist and the message board banter.

  5) People on Syracuse-biased web forums (either for or against Syracuse) discuss it and respond to it.

  6) The original gambling message board discredits the rumor, but then refers to the responses to the rumor as evidence it may be true.

 

That, my friends, is a classic case of what you call a closed loop feedback cycle.  It is a primary indicator of false logic.

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