NCAA Position on Sports Wagering
The explosive growth of gambling has caused a noticeable increase in the number of sports wagering-related cases processed by the NCAA. The Internet has made it easier than ever for student-athletes to place bets, providing easy access, virtual anonymity, and essentially no supervision. Student-athletes are viewed by organized crime and organized gambling as easy marks. When student-athletes gamble, they break the law and jeopardize their eligibility. When student-athletes become indebted to bookies and can't pay off their debts, alternative methods of payment are introduced that threaten the well-being of the student-athlete or undermine an athletic contest, such as point-shaving.
The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering. Sports wagering has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests, and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community. Sports wagering demeans the competition and competitors alike by a message that is contrary to the purposes and meaning of "sport." Sports competition should be appreciated for the inherent benefits related to participation of student-athletes, coaches and institutions in fair contests, not the amount of money wagered on the outcome of the competition.
For these reasons, the NCAA membership adopted NCAA Bylaw 10.3 prohibiting athletics department staff members and student-athletes from engaging in gambling activities as they relate to intercollegiate or professional sporting events.
Bylaw 10.3 covers the following:
1. Sports wagering includes placing, accepting or soliciting a wager (on a staff member's or student-athlete's own behalf or on behalf of others) of any type with any individual or organization on any intercollegiate, amateur or professional team or contest. Examples of sports wagering include but are not limited to: a. The use of a bookmaker or parlay card; b. Internet sports wagering; c. Auctions in which bids are placed on teams, individuals or contests; d. Pools or fantasy leagues in which an entry fee is required and there is an opportunity to win a prize.
2. Provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics competition.
As NCAA president, the late Myles Brand formed a national task force in 2004 to recommend strategies to counteract sports wagering among student-athletes and further analyze the data from the 2003 National Study on Collegiate Sports Wagering and Associated Health Risks. This study represented the first effort to collect information on sports wagering and associated behaviors from a nationally representative sample of student-athletes. It was groundbreaking in both the scope of inquiry and in breadth/number of student-athletes participating (greater than 20,000 student-athletes across all divisions and most championship sports).
1. Of the 388 men's basketball players surveyed, 17 admitted to at least one of the following extreme gambling behaviors: a. Taking money to play poorly in a game; b. Knowing a teammate who took money to play poorly in a game; c. Been threatened or harmed because of sports wagering; d. Been contacted by an outside source to share inside information; and/or e. Actually providing inside information on a game
2. Of the 2,000 football players surveyed, 102 admitted to at least one of the following extreme gambling behaviors: a. Taking money to play poorly in a game; b. Knowing a teammate who took money to play poorly in a game; c. Been threatened or harmed because of sports wagering; d. Been contacted by an outside source to share inside information; and/or e. Actually providing inside information on a game
This research shows that no campus is immune to the problems of sports wagering. Every institution needs to review its sports-wagering education program to ensure it is reaching its student-athletes and the entire campus community.
The NCAA has developed a Web site to educate student-athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and the general public about NCAA rules about sports wagering. The "Don't Bet on It" Web site www.dontbetonit.org can be customized for the individual student-athlete by gender, sport and division. CBS basketball commentator Clark Kellogg, a former Ohio State University student-athlete, serves as host throughout the navigation of the site.
For additional information or if you have any questions or concerns regarding sports wagering on your campus or within you conference, please contact Rachel Newman Baker at 317/917-6222.