NCAA wants states to protect athletes as betting expands

NCAA President Charlie Baker wants state lawmakers to take steps to better protect student-athletes from harassment and coercion by players and to combat threats to gaming integrity as college sports betting Legal and widespread practices take hold in the United States.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it will begin advocating for state laws to include increased penalties for bettors who harass student-athletes, mandatory hotlines for reporting gambling-related threats, a uniform minimum betting age of 21 and funding for educating college students about the risks of gambling.

The NCAA is also seeking opinions on what types of bets are allowed at sports books, citing prop bets on the performance of individual players as “especially vulnerable to integrity issues.”

“The NCAA is making changes to help student-athletes make smart decisions when it comes to sports betting, but given the explosive growth of this new industry, we are eager to partner with legislators, regulators and industry leaders to protect student-athletes from harassment and threats,” Baker said in a statement announcing the promotional campaign.

The FBI has characterized gambler threats to student-athletes as a growing problem, and betting scandals have emerged at several NCAA schools this year.

In May, Alabama fired its head baseball coach after he was linked to suspicious betting activity in a Crimson Tide game against LSU. Days later, authorities charged dozens of student-athletes in Iowa and Iowa State with betting violations.

Thirty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have launched betting markets since 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal statute that had restricted sports betting primarily to Nevada. Florida, Maine and Vermont have passed sports betting bills.

The NCAA revealed in July that there had been 175 sports betting violations by athletic department administrators, coaches and student-athletes since the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling. The violations ranged from small bets of $5 to $10 to players betting on their own schools or providing inside information, Baker wrote in a response letter to U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus on July 12.

“Some states have excellent policies to protect student-athletes from harassment and coercion and to protect the integrity of the games, but as more states pass or modify laws, more needs to be done,” Baker said in the statement. Wednesday.

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