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    NOVEMBER 10, 2005
 
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Former mob boss warns student-athletes about gambling risks

franzese
Photo by Paige Ozaroski
Last Wednesday, former mob boss Michael Franzese spoke to more than 450 Temple student-athletes, warning them about the dangers of gambling. The “Student-Athlete Symposium on Gambling” was co-sponsored by the Department of Athletics and the NCAA, “one of the many educational opportunities we strive to provide for our student-athletes,” according to director of athletics Bill Bradshaw.

On Nov. 2, the Department of Athletics and the NCAA co-sponsored a “Student-Athlete Symposium on Gambling” featuring former mob boss Michael Franzese.

More than 450 Temple student-athletes, as well as 100 student-athletes from Neumann College, attended the program, which also included representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department Vice Task Force.

“We are fortunate to be able to have Michael Franzese come and speak to the Temple community on the issue of gambling,” said director of athletics Bill Bradshaw. “This one of the many educational opportunities we strive to provide for our student-athletes.”

During his talk, Franzese warned students about the truths associated with gambling and betting on sports. He explained that, though gambling had once been a way of life for him, as he got older he had realized the dangers involved. Students listened attentively as he described the dangers of the gambling world, including here in Philadelphia.

Franzese has given seminars for the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, NFL franchises and colleges throughout the country.

The son of a kingpin in the Colombo crime family, Franzese was, according to the Organized Crime Task Force, “one of the biggest money-earners the mob had seen since Al Capone,” and the youngest individual on Fortune magazine’s survey of “The Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses,” ranking No. 18, just five places behind John Gotti.

A sworn, made mob member at age 24, Franzese earned as much as $8 million a week at his apex. Eventually, he managed to become the only high-ranking member of the Mafia to quit, not testify, refuse government protection and live to tell about it.

After the presentation, a panel discussion with a question and answer session included special agent Eric Runa from the Philadelphia Division of the FBI and detective Mark Pinero of the Philadelphia Police Department Vice Task Force.

 

 


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