LSU football implements injury report in response to sports betting’s growth

LSU Stadium
Image: Shutterstock / Roberto Michel

As Iowa colleges struggle with a betting scandal, Lousiana State University and head football coach Brian Kelly are trying to get out ahead of things. The LSU football team will now issue two injury reports a week to offer clarity about who on the team is and who is not on track to play.

In a press conference last week, Kelly elaborated on why the school chose to do that and the growing popularity of sports betting influenced the decision. Retail sports betting launched in Louisiana in October 2021, with the online sportsbook launch following in January 2022.

“I think it’s better to be proactive in those situations and take away even the temptation to even have that in this building and not be that next school that goes down that path,” Kelly said, referring to the possibility that athletes and staff might be probed more information that can be used to place bets.

“I thought it was important given the nature of what’s going on today out there relative to reporting and gaming. We wanted to make sure that we were transparent with injuries, not putting any pressure on anybody here to guess who’s in, who’s out for a given game,” he added.

Collegiate betting is allowed in Louisiana. Additionally, it is a state where bettors can wager on individual college player props.

Kelly acknowledged some might consider being forthright with injury information a competitive disadvantage, but he countered that losing players or staff for suspensions related to betting would be a bigger issue for the team.

There is no official word yet on how much time Hunter Dekkers and other Iowa and Iowa State athletes could be away from the team if they are found to be in violation of the NCAA wagering rules. Under the recently updated rules, they would automatically lose half a season for betting on their own sport. However, the NCAA rules state that the NCAA will consider harsher penalties if warranted when the cumulative wagers exceed $800, which is said to be the case for the athletes in Iowa.