As sports betting legislation gets underway across the country, the NCAA has had to get smart about betting’s effect on college athletics.
The NCAA is creating a group of experts to look into various points of potential contention. The list includes officiating, NCAA rules and regulations, federal and state law, and integrity services.
This announcement July 19 follows the Supreme Court decision in May to legalize sports betting after dismissing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act federal ban.
Already, multiple state schools are exploring their options, with a heavy discussion on integrity fees:
Playing by the rules
Penn State Coach James Franklin seemed less worried about helping sports bettors choose who they want to bet on. Instead, he was more concerned with leveling the playing field and making sure people are playing by the same rules.
“For us, I want to know what the rules are within our state. I want to know what the rules are nationally. Once I know what those are, then we’ll just work around them, but, to be honest with you, besides that, we’re going to educate our players on what they need to be aware of, educate our coaches on what they need to be aware of.”
Franklin also told the Post-Gazette he needed answers in terms of enforcement of new gambling rules. He also needs to know whether the NCAA or the school would do the enforcing. Implementation of penalties after a school doesn’t comply was also one of his concerns.
NCAA prepares for sports betting
It seems like the NCAA and these schools are preparing for legal sports betting to open in their states. Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer, said in a release:
“While we certainly respect the Supreme Court’s decision, our position on sports wagering remains. With this new landscape, we must evolve and expand our long-standing efforts to protect both the integrity of competitions and the well-being of student-athletes.”
In order to open sports betting back up, the NCAA had to suspend its ban on holding championships in the states with legalized sports betting, which only affected Nevada.
Focusing on education
Until decisions are made, the NCAA rules continue to prohibit sports wagering. This includes student‑athletes or member school athletic employees, including coaches.
The NCAA itself has chosen not to focus on the integrity fees and how they may benefit the leagues or schools. Instead, it shifted its attention to the “substance of education, the protection of student-athletes and a standard approach to game integrity through consistent national guidelines,” the release stated.
Joni Comstock, senior vice president of championships and alliances, said this:
“Legalized sports gambling across the country is rather new, but the NCAA and its members have committed significant resources over the years to policy, research and education around sports wagering. With student-athlete well-being as the centerpiece, we will continue to build upon these efforts to assist members as they adapt to legalized sports wagering in their states and regions.”