The NCAA, in a move that will come as no surprise to those with long-term familiarity with college sports in America, plans to keep tabs on the effects that legalised sports betting will have on college athletics.
The temptation of the almighty dollar will be significant for amateur athletes and there’s some significant, recent history when it comes to misconduct ruining sporting history.
The fate of the 2013 Louisville Cardinals for men’s basketball. Their title was vacated earlier this year (in 2018) because of dated indescretions.
In fact, the term “vacated” is almost only associated with college sports on the North American sports frontier. It means that a result is no longer official in the record book.
That the NCAA has been willing to address the record book when they have learned of dated rule breaking is significant. With precedent set and integrity to uphold, the NCAA will have a lot of work to do to maintain the status quo in upcoming era of legalised sports betting.
What will the NCAA do?
They plan to form a group of “subject matter experts” to monitor officiating, NCAA rules, applicable laws, and more. That could involve looking at anomalies in future data when compared to past data.
Almost certainly, these experts will know a thing or two about how point shaving works.
That there were those in the NCAA that were concerned about the integrity of college sports in a new era of legal sports betting was clear earlier this month. Some in the Big Ten, one of the stronger conferences in terms of NCAA athletics, voiced some concerns about football injuries.
It was proposed that football injuries would have to be publicised in order to ensure that the correct odds or lines could be made for a game. Looking ahead, the worry is that someone who knows a star athlete at a college might know something about his injury. An individual with such information would have a betting advantage over others outside of the athlete’s social circles.
If there is a betting scandal in the first year of legalised betting, then don’t be surprised if it’s in the NCAA. That could end up playing out just because the NCAA has proven over the years that they are willing to look inwards for scandals.
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