Following the recent gambling scandals at Iowa, Iowa State and Alabama, the NCAA launched its first sports betting e-learning module.
The sports betting educational online program aims to further educate more than 500,000 current and prospective student-athletes on problem gambling’s harms and the risks gambling poses to the integrity of their games.
In its e-learning module, the NCAA also included former college athletes to better connect with current student-athletes, according to a news release. Among the topics covered are NCAA rules and social media harassment.
Campus compliance directors previously carried out other surveys that helped create the module.
NCAA’s e-learning module warns about the risks of sports betting
As mentioned, the educational tool covers integrity in sports, problem gambling and how to deal with social media harassment that can be connected to gambling, the release said.
The e-learning module is free and interactive. It features an educational experience with information and scenarios. It is also delivered by the following former student-athletes:
- Zaire Franklin, Indianapolis Colts NFL linebacker and former Syracuse football student-athlete and finance/marketing management graduate;
- Mikala Hall, basketball player who earned a Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan;
- Joshua Butler, football player who holds an MBA from Sioux Falls.
NCAA President Charlie Baker said in the release:
“We believe this new program will help protect student-athletes from the risks that come with sports wagering. The data is clear that athletes with firsthand experiences connect with current student-athletes better than any other material we could develop, so we are incredibly grateful for their participation in this effort.”
Previous surveys were crucial in the e-learning module development
Last month, the NCAA announced the findings of a campus compliance directors survey on sports betting issues they experience.
Before that, the NCAA also surveyed 18–22-year-olds to determine the level of sports betting activity among young adults. The results of that survey conducted by Opinion Diagnostics that queried 3,527 individuals indicated:
- Omnipresent sports betting activity within the targeted age population, with 58% having engaged in at least one sports betting activity;
- Problem gambling presence, with 16% having engaged in at least one risky behavior;
- 6% reporting they have lost more than $500 on sports betting in a single day.
Both surveys were instrumental in the e-learning module development process and helped the national office identify key focus areas, the release said.
Clint Hangebrauck, NCAA managing director of enterprise risk management, said:
“This is one piece of an ongoing plan to provide continuous education and resources for student-athletes, prospective student-athletes, parents, coaches and administrators.
We are very appreciative of industry experts such as the National Council of Problem Gambling, EPIC Risk Management and Dr. Jeff Derevensky for their contributions to this learning. This will assist members in supplementing other education programming such as the programming EPIC Risk Management has provided to more than 20,000 student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”
Why are college athletes most vulnerable?
The research shows that college students and athletes are more likely to develop problem gambling behavior than older adults.
According to the 15-minute educational program, these groups have factors surrounding them that could lead to an even higher risk of developing problem gambling habits. Some factors include a competitive nature, as student-athletes are highly competitive and wish to win. This can lead to vulnerabilities such as gambling more after losing a bet.
Moreover, winning that comes from betting can replicate the buzz or adrenaline from a competition, which could entice a student-athlete to gamble more frequently and for a more considerable amount of money.
NCAA imposes strict rules on members who engage in sports betting
Given the risks to student-athletes well-being and integrity of NCAA competition, the NCAA imposes strict rules regarding student-athletes who engage in sports betting. Likewise, coaches, athletics administrators and officials are also banned from engaging in any gambling activity.
The NCAA also recently launched an effort to revise state sports betting laws to combat student-athlete harassment related to sports betting.