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New committee to examine sports wagering

Reflecting the NCAA’s continued commitment to student-athlete well-being and protecting the integrity of competition, the Association’s top governing board voted this week to establish a membership committee to address the expansion of legalized sports wagering.

The Board of Governors Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering will examine the sports wagering landscape and its potential impact on current NCAA rules, educational efforts, player availability reporting, and any associated risks as more states legalize sports wagering.

“The NCAA and its members continue to take a thoughtful approach to the issue of sports wagering,” G.P. “Bud” Peterson, chair of the Board of Governors and president of Georgia Tech, said following the board’s meeting Oct. 23. “The core values of protecting student-athlete well-being and the integrity of competition are at the heart of these efforts. We must continue to evolve and adapt our approach as the landscape continues to change and sports wagering expands in the United States.”

Current NCAA rules that prohibit sports wagering by student-athletes or athletics employees, including coaches and other individuals connected with athletics, remain in effect. Violations of any sports wagering rules remain subject to NCAA penalties.

The committee will work with the national office staff, student-athletes and other organizations to build upon the NCAA’s existing efforts related to sports wagering rules, policy, research and education.

“Protecting our student-athletes through education related to gambling prevention is an important aspect of our efforts,” said Glen Jones, vice chair of the board and Henderson State president. “As the prevalence of legalized sports wagering continues to expand, we are focused on our responsibility as educators and administrators to equip student-athletes with the information and tools they need to understand the expanding sports wagering environment.”

The NCAA Sport Science Institute is also planning a Sports Wagering and Well-Being Summit in March, which will bring together sports wagering organizations and professionals specializing in mental health and wagering disorders. These experts will identify tools and initiatives the NCAA may develop to address issues of sports wagering and problem gambling in the college student population.

Inclusion initiatives

In other action, the governors heard from the Committee To Promote Cultural Diversity and Equity, which shared its strategic goals with the board. The inclusion-focused committee plans to engage with the NCAA governance structure to achieve inclusive excellence, utilize metrics to galvanize accountability in efforts to diversify athletics leadership, and further apply the presidential diversity and gender equity pledge to daily campus operations.

Strategic planning

During its most recent meeting, the Board of Governors also participated in a strategic planning session to gather and organize the group’s feedback as part of the process to refresh the NCAA’s strategic plan. The Strategic Planning Working Group is gathering insights from presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, student-athletes, coaches, faculty athletics representatives, senior woman administrators, athletics health care administrators, and other college sports stakeholders.