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Board of Governors reaffirms sports wagering rules, discusses player availability reporting

Board concludes player availability reporting does not improve competition integrity or student-athlete well-being

The NCAA Board of Governors has reaffirmed its support of current NCAA rules prohibiting student-athletes and university administrators from wagering on sports or providing information to others who are associated with sports wagering. It also determined that player availability reporting is not a viable option at this time.

Based on the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering, created by the Board of Governors in October, the board concluded that player availability would not advance student-athlete well-being nor the integrity of competition, said Michael V. Drake, chair of the Board of Governors and president of The Ohio State University.

“The ad hoc committee gathered thorough feedback from conference commissioners, athletics administrators, athletic trainers and student-athletes across all three divisions about potential player availability reporting,” Drake said after the group’s meeting Tuesday in Indianapolis. “The membership has significant concerns about the purpose, parameters, enforcement and effectiveness of a player availability reporting model.”

The board also encouraged the NCAA national office and member schools and conferences to provide additional educational resources to help protect student-athlete well-being and the integrity of competition.

Federal and State Legislation Working Group

The Federal and State Legislation Working Group, created in March by the board and NCAA President Mark Emmert, also provided an update to the Board of Governors. The group is examining issues related to student-athlete name, image and likeness highlighted in recently proposed federal and state legislation. As part of its efforts, the working group will study potential modifications of current rules, policies and practices.

In particular, the group will focus on solutions that tie any changes to education; maintain the clear demarcation between professional and college sports; and further align student-athletes with the general student body.

In line with numerous steps in recent years to improve financial aid, time demands and well-being, the group will determine how best to continue improving the student-athlete experience. The forthcoming recommendations will be based on a commitment to the student-athlete experience within the context of higher education, where they are students first and not employees of their college or university.

The working group will provide a final report in October, which will include an Association-wide framework for future decisions and a set of overarching principles to guide each division.

Association-wide strategic planning

The board also provided feedback to Attain, a consulting firm, on the Association’s strategic planning process. The Strategic Planning Working Group is drafting the plan after gathering feedback across the NCAA membership. It will present the plan to the board in October with an anticipated rollout to the membership at the NCAA Convention in January.

Independent members

The August meeting was the first for the five newly elected independent members, leaders across diverse industries who were added to provide fresh perspective to the Association’s top governing body.

“Having the independent members at the board meeting for the first time is another important step in NCAA reforms to improve the college sports experience for student-athletes across all three divisions,” said Denis McDonough, former chief of staff to President Barack Obama. “My colleagues and I recognize the important assignment we have been given as new independent members. Chairman Drake and the other members of the board welcomed us and made clear that additional perspectives from leaders outside higher education are important to the board’s deliberations on the important issues the Association faces.”