With a May 14 Supreme Court ruling that will effectively allow states to have legalized gambling, some college programs are bracing for the impact that sports betting could have on them.
Specifically, some universities are concerned that legalized sports betting will lead to thousands of dollars in increased compliance costs to ensure that their programs remain clean.
Of course, clean is a relative term. The FBI has netted several college programs in its probe into corruption in college basketball recruiting.
But clean, in this sense, refers to point-shaving and other betting scandals.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell and David Purdum reported that some schools are looking for compensation for increased compliance costs due to legalized sports betting in their states.
“On Thursday, representatives from Missouri, Rutgers and UConn participated in a conference call with Major League Baseball to consider options, including potentially creating a mechanism where a percentage of the amount wagered on events involving college teams would be funneled back to the schools,” Rovell and Purdum wrote.
They said MLB, the NBA and the PGA have been advocating for similar fees, based on the amount wagered, to be paid to the professional leagues. These leagues have asked for anywhere from 0.25 to 1 percent of the amount bet on games and events in their respective sports, ESPN reported. Some states have been resistant to this idea, said ESPN.
UConn confirmed that is involved in these conversations.
“I can confirm that a representative from UConn was present on yesterday’s conference call,” UConn Athletic Director David Benedict told ESPN. “It was beneficial to collaborate with peer and professional institutions as we prepare for what will result from the recent Supreme Court ruling.”
Last week, officials from Marshall University and other West Virginia colleges met with representatives from pro sports leagues, casinos and the state to discuss the same matter. West Virginia wasted no time legalizing gambling as the governor signed a bill to allow gambling in the state shortly after the Supreme Court ruling.
— AP Graphics (@APGraphics) May 14, 2018
ESPN reported that the West Virginia school schools expressed concerns over added costs for “additional staffing and integrity services,” which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The schools are concerned that they’re going to be taking a lot of risk and are going to have increased compliance costs,” said Tom McMillen, head of the Division I Athletic Directors Association.
“A lot of these schools have not been in the loop on a lot of this. A lot of these discussions have been going on without the universities’ input. These are the crown jewels of your states, and you can’t set public policy on sports betting without involving your universities,” McMillen added.
The NCAA has had its share of point-shaving scandals over the years, the most recent involving the University of San Diego in 2009-2010.
The institution has long opposed legalized sports gambling, but the Supreme Court decision is going to force universities to deal with it.
“The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering, which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community,” the NCAA states.
McMillen told NBC News back in February that college athletes are especially vulnerable to large amounts of money flowing through their game, given that they are unpaid.
“There is a serious concern as to where all this new money would go,” he said. “These kids are on scholarship. Listen, we’ve seen point-shaving scandals before. We’re concerned.”
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