SEC becoming cognizant of wagering following college betting scandal

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The Southeastern Conference is increasingly becoming aware of issues relating to sports betting after the last month has brought up several sports betting scandals in college sports. 

As reported by the Associated Press, the Commissioner of the SEC Greg Sankey has requested that US Integrity – which first alerted regulators to the college sports scandal last month – give presentations to coaches to help them better understand risks associated with integrity issues. 

This intervention was made after several members of staff at the University of Cincinnati lost their jobs following a sports betting controversy after a player’s parent – Bert Neff– contacted staff before placing bets. 

Coach Scott Googins, Assistant Baseball Coach Kyle Sprague, and Director of Operations Andy Nagel have all left their roles following US Integrity’s alert, which instigated an investigation.

Meanwhile, Brad Bohannon was fired as the coach of the Alabama baseball team after contact with the same parent. 

Consequently, according to Sankey, intervention is needed to remove the controversy from the SEC. 

He told AP: “We now have the issues emerging as it’s become enculturated. We don’t have a choice but to pay a high level of attention.”

In a bid to reduce these controversies from the SEC and college sports in general, it has been touted that an injury report should be produced ahead of each fixture. This, in theory, would eliminate team leaks that can help fuel suspicious betting activity. 

However, Sankey has stated that injury reports would not be used in the conference any time soon as he thinks it would not directly address the issue. 

He added: “I told our football coaches that the simple solution of ‘we want an injury report’ is not what I’m going to think about.

“But as information becomes more and more in demand because of the increases in sports gambling, we’re going to have to think about a sophisticated response to managing our information.”

Yet, as the sports betting scandal grows, there seems to be ever-growing confusion from the individual teams over what is allowed and what isn’t. 

Undoubtedly exacerbating Sankey’s request for a US Integrity presentation to the teams, South Carolina coach Sahne Beamer has stated that other coaches have exclaimed their confusion over some of the rules. 

“We had coaches in the meeting room that were asking questions from a betting standpoint, gambling standpoint, what’s legal, what’s not legal?” Beamer said. “So if we have questions about it and I have questions about it, then surely our student-athletes do as well.”

There is also a betting controversy brewing in Iowa, in which there are over 40 players who have been suspended from playing pending an investigation into suspicious wagering activity.