You are here

NCAA, members continue to address sports wagering concerns

Efforts focus on protecting integrity of competition, student-athlete well-being

In the wake of recent changes to laws regarding sports wagering, the NCAA national office and representatives from member schools  continue to work to protect both the integrity of competition and the well-being of student-athletes.

The NCAA is focusing its efforts in this space on six key areas:

  • Education.
  • Integrity.
  • Research and reporting.
  • NCAA rules and policies.
  • The political landscape.
  • Officiating.

“As the sports wagering landscape evolves, so must the NCAA and its members,” said Joni Comstock, senior vice president of championships and alliances. “We are continuing to expand our efforts across these important areas to ensure we are protecting the integrity of competition and the well-being of student-athletes.”

The Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering, which was created by the NCAA Board of Governors, and a national office team of subject matter experts studied the matter.

“From our committee structure to the national office to campuses across the country, the NCAA is focused on how best to address the ever-changing sports wagering landscape through proactive education and monitoring of domestic and global betting activity,” said Stan Wilcox, executive vice president of regulatory affairs.

Sports wagering education remains an important focus of the NCAA’s efforts with the goal of providing a variety of materials to support schools’ educational initiatives. Multiple resources have been provided to student-athletes, administrators and officials to highlight current policy and rules, as well as data about sports wagering activity among student-athletes. Online education sessions also are planned for the next academic year. The NCAA Summit on Sports Wagering and Well-Being in College Student-Athletes  will inform the development of future tools and initiatives as well.

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of competitions, the NCAA national office is working with an industry-leading service provider to enhance how it monitors sports wagering in the global betting market. This includes pregame and in-game monitoring of regular and postseason competition, enhanced monitoring of officials, and periodic risk assessments of all competition. These efforts with the service provider began in the 2018-19 academic year and has expanded in 2019-20. As it has in the past, when warranted, the national office will notify member schools, conferences, regulatory agencies and law enforcement about suspect activity.

As has previously been announced, the Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering determined player availability reporting at this time would not advance student-athlete well-being nor protect the integrity of competition. In 2020, the national office will conduct a national study on collegiate sports wagering, a survey that has been repeated every four years since 2004. The study results will inform national office initiatives related to protecting student-athletes in environments where legalized sports wagering has increased.

The Board of Governors confirmed NCAA rules prohibiting sports wagering or providing information to others associated with those activities. The board also supported legislative changes that would recognize a student-athlete suspension issued by a non NCAA-organization. Each division will consider this concept through its own legislative process.

In addition to educational efforts for officials, the NCAA is aligning an enhanced background check program with higher-risk sports as identified by a periodic sports wagering risk assessment. The national office is evaluating whether to expand this program and determining how information will be shared with conferences for regular-season purposes. Additionally, the officiating conflict of interest policy for NCAA championship officials was enhanced in the summer of 2019.