NCAA Behind the Blue Disk -

Publish date: Oct 15, 2010

Gambling on College Sports - What's the Big Deal?

Isn’t sports wagering harmless?
No! Sports wagering can be a serious crime that threatens the well-being of student-athletes and the integrity of the game. Financially troubled student-athletes are viewed by organized gambling as easy marks for obtaining inside information or affecting the outcome of a game. Student-athletes who gamble are breaking the law and jeopardizing their eligibility. The NCAA believes sports should be appreciated for the benefits of participating or watching, not the amount of money that can be won or lost depending on the outcome of the games.

What exactly is the NCAA policy on sports wagering?
The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering on college sports. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes, and athletics department, conference office, and NCAA national office employees from wagering on intercollegiate, amateur, and professional sports in which the Association conducts championships.

How does the NCAA define sports wagering?
The NCAA defines sports wagering as putting something at risk – such as an entry fee or a wager – in return for the opportunity to win something.

Does the NCAA conduct background checks on officials?
The NCAA conducts background checks on officials and umpires in the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, FBS bowl games, the Men’s Frozen Four and the Men’s College World Series.

What is the NCAA doing to stop sports wagering?
Campus-level programs across the country are using NCAA-supplied educational materials. The NCAA’s Enforcement group continues to process cases involving student-athletes and coaches across all divisions and sports. Despite differing motivations, the NCAA and Las Vegas sports wagering officials work closely together to identify instances in which the integrity of college sports may be threatened.

Does the NCAA really oppose the harmless small-dollar bracket office pool for the Men’s Final Four?
Yes! Office pools of this nature are illegal in most states. The NCAA is aware of pools involving $100,000 or more in revenue. Worse yet, the NCAA has learned these types of pools are often the entry point for youth to begin gambling. Fans should enjoy following the tournament and filling out a bracket just for the fun of it, not on the amount of money they could possibly win.