NCAA Programs Exploring Compensation for Costs Stemming from Sports Betting

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2018

In this Monday, May 14, 2018 photo, betting odds are displayed on a board in the sports book at the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting, the race is on to see who will referee the multi-billion-dollar business expected to emerge from the decision. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Representatives from the University of Missouri, Rutgers University and the University of Connecticut reportedly joined Major League Baseball officials on a phone call Thursday to explore the possibility of implementing fees that could cover higher compliance costs in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on sports gambling.

According to ESPN.com's David Purdum and Darren Rovell, the parties talked about "potentially creating a mechanism where a percentage of the amount wagered on events involving college teams would be funneled back to the schools." 

Purdum and Rovell noted professional sports leagues have discussed fees ranging from 0.25 percent to 1.0 percent on betting handles.

"The schools are concerned that they're going to be taking a lot of risk and are going to have increased compliance costs," Tom McMillen, the head of the Division I Athletic Directors Association, said, per Rovell and Purdum. "A lot of these schools have not been in the loop on a lot of this. A lot of these discussions have been going on without the universities' input. These are the crown jewels of your states, and you can't set public policy on sports betting without involving your universities."

In a press release Thursday, the NCAA announced it was throwing its support behind a federal law that would legalize gambling. 

"While we recognize the critical role of state governments, strong federal standards are necessary to safeguard the integrity of college sports and the athletes who play these games at all levels," NCAA president Mark Emmert said. 

The NCAA also announced, effectively immediately, that it has suspended its policy prohibiting its championships from occurring in states with legalized sports gambling. 

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