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NCAA examining impact of sports wagering

Association is working to protect college athletes and competitions amid gambling expansion

As sports wagering in the United States expands, the NCAA national office is examining the long-term impact on college sports. An internal team of subject matter experts will explore how best to protect game integrity, monitor betting activity, manage sports data and expand educational efforts.

“While we certainly respect the Supreme Court’s decision, our position on sports wagering remains,” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer. “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.”

The internal working group, composed of subject matter experts from across the national office, is assessing all areas where legalized sports wagering may impact NCAA members, including officiating, NCAA rules, federal or state legislation, and the use of integrity services.

While some have advocated that leagues or schools financially benefit from new state laws, including integrity fees levied on sports wagering revenues, the NCAA instead has decided to focus its attention on the substance of education, the protection of student-athletes and a standard approach to game integrity through consistent national guidelines.

“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,” said Joni Comstock, senior vice president of championships and alliances. “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.”

The internal team is one piece of an ongoing effort by the Association. The Board of Governors suspended the NCAA’s championship policy in May related to sports wagering. The board’s decision ensured championship location continuity by allowing NCAA championship events to occur in states that offer sports wagering. The board can consider more permanent revisions of the championship host policy during future meetings.

NCAA rules prohibit sports wagering by student-athletes or member schools’ athletics employees, including coaches.