SEC Bracing for Impact of Legalized College Football Betting

June 15, 2018 by staff

As betting on sports gets legalized state by state, there are issues popping up throughout the world of college athletics, and Nick Saban answered some questions. He doesn't necessarily like them, but he is well aware that queries will be streaming in to a world suddenly awash with an increase in awareness on injury reports, point spreads, and everything related to wagering.

This will all be legal gambling too, hitting college sports in one way or another for the upcoming season now that the Supreme Court has decided that states can legalize sports wagers, in the form of online betting and at land-based bookmakers.

Saban Has Considered How Far it Could Go

The Alabama coach has already got some thoughts on how far legal betting could go. Saban told CBS Sports that there might be a problem if everyone starts betting on their own as to whether or not this player could make a field goal, or that one could score a touchdown in the red area. Negative feedback in terms of social media could be one of the potential issues, he said. What if the player misses?

Saban Says It’s Not His Problem

Saban, however, stated that if something failed to occur as someone wagered it would, or something happened when there were bets on the fact that it wouldn’t, it was not his problem. He said gamblers are taking a risk, their own, and it had nothing to do with his decisions as a coach.

It Just Means More Takes On a Whole New Meaning

Athletic Director for Ole Miss, Ross Bjork, said that before now it was more underground, online, and offshore betting, but now it would be far more visible. Mississippi is likely to be one of the first states to implement gambling on sports, with the closest bookmaker to the campus probably around 70 miles away, in Tunica.

Bjork said that the betting would put things in a different light, since the players would need to be told not to go into the sportsbooks, and that they weren’t allowed to lay wagers.

The NCAA Won’t Change Its Mind on That Score

This has always been the case for players, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, is not going to depart from one of the tenets it was founded on. All gambling, whether legal or illegal, by athletes is a violation, but certain adjustments have already been made to take in the new era: the NCAA has said that it would make the necessary changes to championship and wagering policies in order to align these with the direction from the Supreme Court.

If it didn't, there might not be anywhere for the NCAA to stage its championships! It previously refused to place contests in states like Nevada that permitted sports gambling, but at least half of the states in the USA are moving towards legalizing this pastime, according to a variety of reports, so its stance will need to change.