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Schools double down on wagering awareness

As more states open their doors to legal sports betting, NCAA schools are working to rapidly adjust to an evolving landscape. The changes have necessitated a heightened focus on sports gambling education for student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

To better understand schools’ current practices and challenges related to sports gambling education, the NCAA Board of Governors Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering and a national office team of subject matter experts issued a survey in September to compliance directors in all three divisions. Administrators from more than 500 schools responded, providing NCAA leaders with data to inform ongoing efforts at the national level to protect both the integrity of college competition and the wellbeing of student-athletes.

Many respondents, especially in Divisions II and III, reported experiencing difficulty getting students, coaches and staff to earnestly receive sports wagering education. These challenges are particularly pronounced when covering professional sports betting and fantasy sports, where some student-athletes, coaches and staff may not see the harm in participating or not take seriously that part of the NCAA prohibition.

In the coming months, the Board of Governors will use the information to develop best practices for educational programming and additional resources for schools. For the latest NCAA information on sports wagering, visit ncaa.org/enforcement/sports-wagering.

Key Findings

  • Nearly every Division I school reported providing education on sports wagering, but that education is occurring at only 80% of Divisions II and III schools.
  • Compliance staff have the primary responsibility of managing and administering sports wagering education at Divisions I and II schools. For 22% of Division III schools, the responsibility lies with the athletics director or another administrator.
  • Among schools that provide sports wagering education, most cover NCAA bylaws and inside information policies. Only about 20% discuss well-being issues such as gambling addiction.
  • About 38% of compliance directors in Division I autonomy conferences were extremely or moderately concerned about sports wagering relative to other issues. For all of Division I, that number dropped to 20%. For Divisions II and III, it was 7%.
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Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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