Whereabouts Of The 1950 City College Of New York Team, NIT and NCAA Champs (Part I)
In 1950, the City College of New York accomplished a feat no one has ever or will ever duplicate: NIT and NCAA champions in the same season. Sadly, one year later a monumental point-shaving scandal broke. When everything cleared, seven players from the CCNY team were arrested and pled guilty to conspiracy charges. Sixty years later we find out what happened to that infamous team.
Dambrot was the NCAA Tournament MOP but a year after the championships, he and six teammates were arrested and pled guilty to conspiracy charges related to the point-shaving scandal. He received a suspended sentence. He became a dentist and had been living in Mendham, N.J. until he passed away at the age of 81 on January 21, 2010, due to complications of Parkinson’s disease.
While Dambrot was the NCAA MOP, Ed Warner was the MVP of the NIT thanks to his 21.7 points per game. After the scandal broke, all players involved pled guilty and received suspended sentences; except for Warner, who served six months in jail. He’d spend one more stint in prison for attempting to sell heroine. Following that, Warner went into high school officiating.
In 1984 he was partly paralyzed after a car accident and became an observer of officials for NYC high schools. He was also a recreational supervisor in Harlem. He passed away in 2002. Said Warner of the scandal: “‘We weren’t seasoned criminals. We didn’t receive the guidance we should’ve. And we weren’t the only team doing it. There were several that escaped. But we paid the price.”
Before CCNY’s NIT quarterfinal match up with Adolph Rupp’s all-white Kentucky team, coach Nat Holman decided to start all three of his black players. During the pre-game handshakes, the Wildcats ignored the three. But Leroy Watkins, who hadn’t started all year, won the tip-off against all-world Kentucky center Bill Spivey, setting the tone for what would be Rupp’s worse loss ever - 89-50. Watkins passed away in 2008.
Roman was one of the several players who pled guilty to conspiracy charges. He, Warner and Floyd Lane became good friends following the scandal. With all three banned from the NBA, they’d drive together on weekends to Pennsylvania to play in the Eastern League. Roman went into psychology and eventually got a Ph.D. in adolescent psychology. He had been working in the New York City public school system in Queens as a physical education teacher and a psychological consultant. Sadly he passed away because of leukemia in 1988. He was 57.
Norm Mager (far left)
Norm Mager came off the bench for CCNY. In the NIT title game, he helped steady the team after it fell behind by 11 points early. In the NCAA finals he needed stitches in his head after a collision, but eventually scored 14 points and hit the game-clinching basket. He, too, was eventually arrested, charged and pled guilty to conspiracy charges. Afterwards he tried disappearing: “For years, when people on the street asked if I was Norm Mager, I would say no.” Mager became an executive with the janitorial supply company Perfect Building Maintenance and eventually retired as its president in 2000. In 2005, Mager died from complications of cancer at the age of 78.
Roth was also arrested and plead guilty to conspiracy charges. His sentence was suspended when he enrolled in the Army. After his service was up, Roth went back to City College to finish his business degree. He became an insurance executive in Westchester County, New York. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow….
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