The Big Ten thinks that it is necessary for college football teams to make injury information about its star players public.
Previously, coaches were at their discretion to release such information. However, with Americans increasingly enjoying sports-gambling freedoms, the issue of injury news being public is something some Big Ten officials feel is necessary.
What exactly is the issue? CBSSports.com ran an article on July 2nd that spoke to the central problem. According to Dennis Dodd, “College administrators are…concerned about…an open loop of betting information.”
When a player is injured on a college football team there are scores of people with access to that information on the inside. In a system where no one goes public with the information until game-time decisions make the ‘news’ public, the betting odds might not reflect realistic implied percentages.
Say, for example, the top-ranked team is playing an unranked team that is a 33.5-point underdog. If the top-ranked team has to start its second-string quarterback then the +33.5-point helpers on the underdog could look pretty good to someone looking for betting value.
But when the injury to the number one quarterback is secret, no one in the general betting public knows there’s an above average chance of winning when backing the underdog’s handicap. That is, no one knows to make that bet except for the scores of people on the inside (and maybe their Facebook friends) that now or will have access to casinos where they can place sports bets.
The Big Ten seems worried that a bunch of winning bets will start popping up a little too close to campus. Football teams are large, especially when you consider all the assistant staff and student volunteers.
If one of these people hears that Mr. Touchdown USA is hobbled for an upcoming game and that person decides to phone his friend who lives a half-hour away from Monmouth Park, a venue where sports bets are already being taken, then the integrity of college football could come into question.
Such issues are valid concerns at any time. But with increased American gambling freedoms they are becoming more of a concern.
What could a mandated sports-injury reporting system in NCAA football do to solve the problem? Simply, the sportsbooks would be the first to monitor these reports.
In the hypothetical situation suggested, instead of offering a handicap of +33.5 they could offer something that reflects the No. 2 quarterback’s start, maybe something like +11.5. In short, a mandated sports-injury report for college football would help avoid suspicion for those that make good bets.
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