NCAA to Review Policies That Could Be Impacted by Legal Sports Gambling

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is displayed at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball tournament. The NCAA is opening a door for states with legalized sports gambling to host NCAA championship events. The governing body for college sports on Thursday, May 17, 2018, announced a
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

The NCAA issued a statement Friday to address the ongoing shift after the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for states to legalize sports betting.  

"To correct our previous comments, an NCAA membership ad hoc committee examining sports wagering will work with appropriate standing membership committees, specifically playing rules, to direct review of all NCAA policies that might be impacted by the new gambling environment in regular season and postseason play, including reviews of last-second shots," the NCAA said. "The action is in keeping with our commitment to maintaining the integrity of the games."

The statement comes after David Worlock, the NCAA's director of media coordination and statistics, told ESPN.com's Ryan Rodenberg the NCAA planned to review all shots completed at the buzzer in NCAA tournament games, regardless of whether the shot impacted the outcome.

On Wednesday, Creighton Bluejays guard Kaleb Joseph hit a three-pointer as time expired in a 66-59 overtime defeat to the Villanova Wildcats. Two days earlier, Oklahoma Sooners guard Jamal Bieniemy nailed a buzzer-beater that wasn't enough to avoid a 75-74 defeat to the Iowa State Cyclones.

The Washington Post's Matt Bonesteel noted that neither of the shots should've counted but weren't reviewed by officials. And while they didn't mean anything in terms of the final result, they had consequences for fans who bet on one or both of the games.

Bad beats are nothing new and they'll continue to happen even if the NCAA decides to expand its video review rules. But the organization's statement is indicative of how its priorities will need to shift going forward to cater to the growth of sports betting.

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