The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is to examine the impact of sports betting, as it works to protect college athletes and competitions amidst gambling expansion across the US.
Composed of an internal group of experts from the association’s national office, all areas of where sports betting could impact members are being assessed, including officiating, rules, federal or state legislation and the use of integrity services.
Examining the long-term impact upon college sports, the group is to “explore how best to protect game integrity, monitor betting activity, manage sports data and expand educational efforts”.
Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer, commented: “While we certainly respect the Supreme Court’s decision, our position on sports wagering remains.
“With this new landscape, we must evolve and expand our long-standing efforts to protect both the integrity of competitions and the well-being of student-athletes.”
The NCAA details that whilst some quarters have been positive about schools and/or leagues benefiting financial, including integrity fees levied on sports wagering revenues, it is firmly proceeding down the route of education.
Focusing on the “substance of education” and the protection of student athletes, the NCAA is to take “a standard approach to game integrity through consistent national guidelines”.
Current NCAA rules forbid student athletes or member schools’ athletics employees, including coaches, from participating in sports wagering.
Joni Comstock, senior vice president of championships and alliances, added: “Legalised sports gambling across the country is rather new, but the NCAA and its members have committed significant resources over the years to policy, research and education around sports wagering.
“With student athlete well being as the centrepiece, we will continue to build upon these efforts to assist members as they adapt to legalised sports wagering in their states and regions.”
The NCAA’s membership stretches across 1,117 colleges and universities, 100 athletics conferences and 40 affiliated sports organisations.