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🚨Packers’ Hornung and Lion’s Karras Suspended Indefinitely by NFL

Apr. 17, 1963 - Two outstanding professional football players — Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions — were suspended indefinitely by the NFL today for betting on league games and associating with gamblers or “known hoodlums.” Five other Lions players were fined for betting on the 1962 NFL championship game, and the Detroit club was fined for failing to heed reports of its players’ gambling activities. NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle said Hornung, a star halfback, was penalized for “his pattern of betting and for transmission of specific information concerning NFL games for betting purposes.” Karras, an all-league defensive tackle, made at least 6 significant bets on league games since 1958, the commissioner said. In Detroit, following a hastily called meeting at the Lions’ offices, Karras expressed anger at the suspension. “This is guilt by association and innuendo. I’m not guilty, and I’ve done nothing to be ashamed of.” Hornung, by contrast, was said to be contrite, and is reportedly preparing a statement of apology to be issued later today. The five other players, who were fined $2,000 each, are John Gordy, Gary Lowe, Joe Schmidt, Wayne Walker, and Sam Williams. Mr. Rozelle said those five had bet $50 each on the outcome of the NFL championship game last Dec. 30 at Yankee Stadium. The report stated that Karras had bet $100 on the Packers in that game and that his 5 teammates had placed their bets through a friend of Karras. The Packers, favored by 6 points, defeated the Giants, 16-7. Regarding Hornung, Mr. Rozelle said: “He said the betting started in 1959, and it was a weekly pattern. There was no evidence he bet against the Packers.” Over the course of the probe, conducted by the commissioner’s agents — many of them former FBI men — 52 individuals connected with 8 of the 14 clubs were grilled.


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