Sure, there have been more than a few sports betting scandals to hit college sports over the years. However, with more of a judicious set of rules in place due to the legalization of sports betting, now would be a safer time than any for the NCAA to get on board with the newest big moneymaker in the United States.
Last week, the NCAA held firm on its stance of staying away from sports betting, refusing to lay out weekly injury reports similar to the ones that are used in the professional leagues. Many advocates believe this would be the first step in cutting down on those using inside information to their benefit.
“If we look at the major sports betting scandals of the last 15-20 years, they’re mostly around collegiate sports,” said Matthew Holt, president of U.S. Integrity, a company that offers unbiased integrity monitoring around sports betting.
Holt noted that his company represents more than 100 universities, including members of the Pac-12, Big 12, SEC, Big West, West Coast Conference and Ivy League, in addition to 31 other universities.
Holt also added, “Other than the (NBA referee) Tim Donaghy case, they’re all collegiate, and with good reason – the athletes are the most vulnerable. The idea of the NCAA not taking a role in monitoring doesn’t seem like the best approach.”
This news received plenty of criticism in the media, but according to a story from CBS, the decision came from members of the NCAA.
The idea of collegiate injury reports was first brought up last year by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. The ACC has used injury reports in the past, and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby recently admitted that these reports would help organize the flow of information.
“A mandatory reporting would eliminate people skulking around trying to find a leak that could give them inside information, so there could be a case made for it,” Bowlsby said during Big 12 Media Day in Arlington, Texas, last month.
For Sunday games in the NFL, teams must list their practice participation report daily starting on Wednesday, and then a game participation report by Friday afternoon. Practice reports are broken down into three categories: Did Not Participate, Limited Participation, and Full Participation. Game reports also have three categories: Out, Doubtful, and Questionable.
Game reports are due by 4 pm EST Friday for NFL games on Sunday.
A Matter Of Time
The NCAA will have to get involved in sports betting at some point – it just has to. There’s going to be too much pressure on them to start being proactive and not stay stuck in the wet concrete.
“The NCAA can no longer sit on the sidelines when it comes to sports betting,” Brendan Bussmann of the gaming consulting firm Global Market Advisors. “They have to get in the game, come up with a game plan, and figure out how it is a benefit for their schools, student-athletes, staff and the fan, so they can continue to keep athletics at the collegiate level in the amateur environment that exists today. It’s the middle of the second quarter. And the team still has not taken the field.”