The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has already made it clear that it is opposed to legalized sports gambling – the group’s board of governors prefer that sports fan take their business to illegal markets. The NCAA was reportedly involved in the push to have lawmakers approve the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which the Supreme Court struck down last year, and is facing a potential lawsuit for its involvement, along with other sports entities. Now, the NCAA is addressing sports gambling again and is still adamant that it shouldn’t be allowed. To support its position, it has decided to not require injury reports for college athletes.
There had been discussion in the evolving sports gambling space that college-level injury reports should be released in a similar fashion to what is found in the NFL, MLB and other professional organizations. However, the NCAA’s leaders got together this week and decided against it, explaining that it isn’t a viable solution.
The chairman of the board of governors and the president of Ohio State University, Michael V. Drake, said after the meeting, “The ad hoc committee gathered thorough feedback from conference commissioners, athletics administrators, athletic trainers, and student-athletes across all three divisions about potential player availability reporting. The membership has significant concerns about the purpose, parameters, enforcement, and effectiveness of a player availability reporting model.”
Athlete injury reports are routinely used by sportsbooks to gauge how to establish betting odds. If a key NFL running back, for example, missed most training sessions during the week prior to a big game, there is a possibility that he won’t be on the field, lowering his team’s chances of winning. The injury reports are mandated by the sports leagues and are required to be accurate at all times.
Despite the leagues’ mandatory reporting requirements, many teams have been caught lying on the reports in the past. The Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers are two NFL teams that suffered small embarrassments last year over misrepresentations in their reports, and the Oakland Raiders were slapped with a $20,000 fine over errors on a report before a game last year.
The NCAA will argue that sports gambling and the injury report aren’t needed in the organization because college-level sports are about building skills to allow the athletes to perform in the real world post-graduation. It’s all about building character and developing discipline, sportsmanship and providing a better education.
If anyone believes the NCAA is an organization that exists to instill character in players, and not as a moneymaking machine, please contact me – I have some oceanfront property in Arizona I would like to sell.