NCAA calls for an end to prop betting on college athletes

A hand with a stop sign logo on it
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The NCAA is pushing for all states to ban individual prop bets on college athletes.

NCAA President Charlie Baker issued a statement on Wednesday urging all states that have legalized sports betting to prohibit individual prop bets for college athletics events.

“Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity of competition and leading to student-athletes and professional athletes getting harassed,” Baker said. “The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets.

“This week we will be contacting officials across the country in states that still allow these bets and ask them to join Ohio, Vermont, Maryland and many others and remove college prop bets from all betting markets. The NCAA is drawing the line on sports betting to protect student-athletes and to protect the integrity of the game — issues across the country these last several days show there is more work to be done.”

Baker expressed his concern over prop betting on college sports as early as November when he told CBS Sports that prop bets can impede the integrity of games and also put too much pressure on student-athletes.

Toronto Raptors forward under investigation by the NBA

The statement comes off the back of news that the NBA is investigating Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for potential betting irregularities, including the possibility that Porter bet the under on his own performances.

Raptors’ fixtures against the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings are under the microscope as individual prop bets on Porter’s performance were top money makers for operators. In both games, Porter left the court early on due to injury and illness which meant the under hit both times.

Last week, Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff revealed that he and his family received threats from gamblers last year and he now believes that sports betting in general on basketball has “gone too far.”

Ohio and Maryland block college prop bets

In the last few weeks Ohio and Maryland have joined the list of states that have prohibited individual college player props. 

Despite opposition from sportsbook operators, Ohio bettors wagered roughly $104.6 million on player props in 2023, the NCAA and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requested regulators to pull prop bets in the Buckeye State.

Prop bets in Maryland stopped on March 1 however players can still bet on the outcome of awards such as the Heisman Trophy.

Currently only Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan and Wyoming allow unfettered prop betting on college sports while others allow restricted prop betting. For example, in New Jersey players are not allowed to place prop bets on games involving in-state colleges. 

Statement comes in the middle of March Madness

Baker’s statement comes in the midst of one of the biggest sports betting events of the year.

The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will legally wager $2.72 billion on March Madness while compliance provider GeoComply has already seen a 46% week-over-week increase in online sports betting activity in North Carolina during the opening days of the tournament.