The NCAA will reexamine the rules around student-athletes and sports wagering after recent incidents that have caused permanent or long-term exclusion from college sport.
The Division I Legislative Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement and Legislative Committee will undertake the assessment, at the request of the Collegiate Commissioners Association.
The guidelines were amended as recently as 2 May, 2023, where the committee decided the following:
- Student-athletes who engage in activities to influence the outcome of their own games, or provide insider information to individuals engaging in sports betting could face permanent exclusion from collegiate sport.
- This would apply to those who wager on their own games, or on other sports at their own schools.
- A 50% loss of one season of eligibility is the potential punishment for athletes athletes wagering on their own sport at another school. To be reinstated, the culprit would be required to attend an education course on sports wagering rules and prevention.
The NCAA then created a set of rules surrounding all other wagering offenses, based on the total value of wagers placed by the student. These were as follows:
- $200 or less: sports wagering rules and prevention education
- $201-$500: loss of 10% of a season of eligibility, plus education
- $501-$800: loss of 20% of a season of eligibility, plus education
- >$800: loss of 30% of a season of eligibility, plus education
For cumulative wagers significantly greater than $800, NCAA will consider each case on an individual basis.
The NCAA said in a release that the assessment of its own rules were “to ensure that NCAA members think penalties reflect the current wagering environment.” The rules are namely to assess the severity of punishment relating to wagering but on teams other than their own.
NCAA President Charlie Baker commented: “We continue to put student-athlete well-being front and center in the Association’s efforts around sports wagering, including this week’s action related to reconsideration of penalties that members believe have been overly punitive to student-athletes.”
He continued: “This is an important step toward modernizing the NCAA’s approach to sports wagering. Included in that updated approach is our plan to advocate through state and federal legislators to reduce harassment of young people from bettors and to increase education efforts to help prevent problem gambling in the student population.”
The ongoing assessment is expected to be concluded by mid-October. Some of the changes suggested in the release are:
- For a first offense: student-athletes would no longer be withdrawn from competition, regardless of cumulative wager values, and receive education around integrity and sports wagering
- For a second offense: withholding penalties will be considered, depending on the dollar value
- For a third or subsequent offense: penalty could be a loss of one full season of NCAA eligibility
The changes come following the seismic Iowa State scandal, in which several student-athletes were found to have placed wagers while underage and account shared. On rare occasions, student-athletes had placed wagers on games in which they were involved. .