NCAA survey: Sports betting problems on rise in autonomy schools

NCAA signage
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The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has released the findings of its survey of senior campus compliance administrators, who have delivered their verdict on various sports betting trends they have witnessed.

Intriguingly, a “substantial increase” in sports wagering issues was reported in autonomy schools, with the survey finding 27% had dealt with a sports betting problem among their athletes or staff within the past year, up 24% on the 3% reported in 2019.

A similar number (25%) said that they were aware of a student-athlete/s on their campus who were being harassed online or in person by someone with gambling interests.

These issues were less prominent in Division II and Division III where the first question returned 3% for both, while there was no knowledge of any gambling-related harassment in these divisions.

“This survey is informative as we continue to develop e-learning and other educational resources related to sports wagering, which will be rolled out to the membership later this year,” said Clint Hangebrauck, Managing Director of Enterprise Risk Management at the NCAA.

The survey was accessed by 546 compliance administrators across July and August 2023, with usable data for 500, one per school. The median time to complete the survey was less than 5 minutes.

Overall, the survey found that some form of sports wagering education is occurring for athletes, coaches and athletics administrators at more than 95% of Division I schools and a majority of Division II and III schools.

The way in which gambling/wagering education is being delivered has changed somewhat, though, particularly in autonomous schools and Division I as a whole, with 25% and 19% increases in education being delivered in-person by guests or outside experts.

Meanwhile, the use of fact sheets, online modules/courses and video education was, generally, down.

NCAA President Charlie Baker, who commissioned the survey, added: “Student-athletes are getting harassed by bettors, and billion-dollar ad campaigns are targeting young people across the country. We need all the help we can get, including from regulators and sportsbooks, to protect student-athletes and protect the integrity of the games.

“The NCAA will use this staff survey data, as well as data from our prior sports betting activities survey of college-age respondents, to make the best tools available to help schools educate student-athletes on how and why to avoid sports betting.

“Clearly there is more work to do, but this survey will be a big help with all our sports betting efforts.”

Other notable questions included ‘Does your school use a sports wagering integrity service to monitor games/matches?” 34% of autonomous school respondents answered ‘Yes’, while the number dropped to 13%, 1% and 0% for Division I (total), Division II and Division III respectively.