The NCAA is planning to educate over 500,000 students of the risk involved with gambling as it launches a new sports wagering module.
The online learning module aims to teach student-athletes about the harms and risks of sports betting and how wagering can impact the integrity of their competitive fixtures.
Presenting the launch of the module, the NCAA stated that all its actions have been driven by evidence-based research on the impact of sports betting on student populations across the US.
“One of the first things I did when I took over as NCAA president was gather as much information as possible about sports betting on college campuses. This educational resource is directly informed by that data. We believe this new program will help protect student-athletes from the risks that come with sports wagering,” NCAA President Charlie Baker said.
“The data is clear that athletes with firsthand experiences connect with current student-athletes better than any other material we could develop, so we are incredibly grateful for their participation in this effort.”
NCAA conducted a body of research earlier in the year that indicated sports betting was rife on college campuses. The study, which surveyed 3,527 college students aged between 18-22 during April, found that 58% of students had engaged in at least one form of sports betting during the last 12 months.
It also found that 71% of students had reported a largest daily loss of up to $100, whilst a further 16.7% recorded a largest daily loss of between $100-$300. 5.9% of respondents recorded a largest loss of $300-$500, while a further 5.8% lost more than $500.
Reacting to empirical data, the NCAA set in place a strategy to educate players on the risks of sports betting in a bid to reduce the activity taking place amongst the student population.
The body has a relationship with EPIC Risk Management, which provides workshops and educational sessions for students about the risks of gambling, particularly at a young age.
“This is one piece of an ongoing plan to provide continuous education and resources for student-athletes, prospective student-athletes, parents, coaches and administrators,” said Clint Hangebrauck, NCAA Managing Director of Enterprise Risk Managment.
“We are very appreciative of industry experts such as the National Council of Problem Gambling, EPIC Risk Management and Dr. Jeff Derevensky for their contributions to this learning. This will assist members in supplementing other education programming such as the programming EPIC Risk Management has provided to more than 20,000 student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”
As part of the model, the NCAA has tapped former college athletes including Indiana Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin to help deliver the course. Also joining the delivery is Mikala Hall, who played basketball and earned a Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan, and Joshua Butler, who played football and earned an MBA from Sioux Falls.
The module will be a free tool providing students with information, scenarios, Q&A sessions and resources all delivered by former student-athletes.
“Sports wagering has exploded in our society, and it is extremely important for athletes — at all levels — to receive thorough education on the rules and risks of sports betting to help protect themselves, their team, sport, mental health, finances and future,” Franklin said.