NCAA President Charlie Baker has shared his concerns over the legalization of prop bets on college sporting fixtures.
Baker told a CBS Sports reporter that there is too much pressure on student-athletes and that prop betting can only amplify that pressure.
The legal status of college prop bets varies by state, and even those that do authorize them have different levels of regulation around the products.
The states that do allow college prop bets in any form are: Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Wyoming
Baker stated that prop bets can seriously impede the integrity of the games: “My concern about prop betting is just putting myself in the shoes of a young person who’s on a campus who has a friend or two that come up to them and say, you know, I love you. If you could just miss your first couple of free throws this week, it won’t affect the outcome of the game.”
This week, footage on social media showed Barstool Sports personality Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz shouting at a player in the college basketball game between Florida Atlantic and Loyola Chicago because he had bets riding on the player’s performance.
But Baker told CBS that he has done what he can to protect student athletes, including when as Governor of Massachusetts the bill he signed to legalize sports betting did not include college betting in any quarters.
“The bill I filed did not include college sports. Why? Because I worry about the impact that would have on young people who in many cases would get put in complicated positions,” he added.
The NCAA president spoke as the body updated rules regarding players who bet on teams from their academic institution.
New guidance terms require any athlete caught betting on a team from their school that is from a different sporting department will be ineligible to compete for one season and will also lose a year of eligibility. Previously, the recommended punishment was permanent ineligibility.