NCAA tweaks eligibility rules for athletes betting on their school

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The NCAA continues to fine-tune its rules regarding athletes and sports betting. This week the Division I Council Coordination Committee updated rules regarding how players who bet on teams from their academic institution.

The adjusted rules now require any athlete caught betting on a team from their school that is not their own team will be ineligible to compete for one season and will also lose a year of eligibility.

Prior to this rule, the recommended punishment was permanent ineligibility.

“To be clear, Division I members do not encourage student-athletes to engage in sports wagering at any level, and the actions today to modify reinstatement conditions should not be interpreted as support for wagering behaviors,” said Jon Steinbrecher, chair of the Council Coordination Committee and commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “NCAA members continue to prioritize integrity of competition and felt that reinstatement conditions for violations of wagering rules should reflect that focus and, when possible, also accommodate opportunities for preventative education.”

After releasing updated guidelines in June, the NCAA announced plans to further revise the policies and rules around sports betting last month.

The general trend of these rules has been to soften what had been a very strict stance regarding all forms of betting. The adjustments so far this year have been to soften punishments for certain transgressions and created more tiers of punishments depending on what the athletes are wagering on and how much they have wagered.

The policy that student-athletes and coaching staff are not allowed to wager on any sport offered by the NCAA at any level, including professional.

“The council agreed with Division I commissioners that the reinstatement conditions for wagering violations in limited circumstances should be adjusted. Member schools need to fully examine NCAA wagering legislation overall — particularly in light of changes in recent years to federal and state laws — but the council agreed that additional changes should not be made until potential changes to rules are contemplated,” Steinbrecher added.