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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Hornung, Karras suspended for betting on NFL
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
April 17, 1963
Green Bay Packers halfback Paul Hornung and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras probably would have taken even money that they would never be suspended for betting on NFL games. But they would have lost that wager as NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle suspends the two stars indefinitely for betting on league games and associating with gamblers or "known hoodlums."
Hornung set an NFL record with 176 points in 1960 and was the league's MVP in 1961. Karras has been an all-league defensive tackle the past three years.
While Hornung says his bets were made with friends, for $100 or $200, Rozelle says the player bet as much as $500 on NFL games from 1959-61. Hornung is contrite after learning of the suspension. "I made a terrible mistake," he says. "I am truly sorry."
Rozelle says Karras made at least six bets of $50 or $100. Karras is bitter about the suspension.
Rozelle also fines five other Detroit Lions - Joe Schmidt, Wayne Walker, John Gordy, Gary Lowe and Sam Williams - $2,000 each for betting $50 on the Packers in the 1962 championship game against the Giants. Since the Packers covered the six-point spread in beating the Giants 16-7, the players are $1,950 losers.
Hornung and Karras will be reinstated after a year. Hornung will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
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