NCAA President Wants Prop Betting Banned from College Sports, Other Reforms

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting


  • ker said that it could be easy for a friend to talk another into missing a couple of free throws
  • $15 billion was bet on March Madness this year
  • Michigan is already involved in a sign-stealing scandal

NCAA President Charlie Baker said that he is concerned with the effects of prop betting on college sports and is asking for regulatory changes.

Baker said that prop bets, which allow bettors to predict whether a player will make more or less than a certain number of points, rebounds, assists, or any other statistic, should not be available for college sports. Despite that, many states with legal sports betting have college prop bets available at online sportsbooks.

The NCAA Pres. said that he is not ignorant of the extra funding and attention that sports betting has brought the NCAA, but prop betting should be eradicated to preserve the integrity of college sports.

Lobbying for reform

Baker, once a center at Harvard University during his college days, alluded to a hypothetical situation in which a basketball player may be influenced by someone they know to miss their free throws.

“What I’d really appreciate is if you could just miss your first couple of free throws this week,” Baker said of his hypothetical. “It won’t affect the outcome of the game, but it would really help me.”

The NCAA works with state regulators and sportsbooks to monitor signs of external interference or foul play. The assistance of watchdog U.S. Integrity allowed regulators to bust a betting scandal involving the University of Alabama baseball coach, who shared sensitive information with a colleague who then placed $100,000 on Bama to lose their game.

According to Baker, protecting against external interference when it comes to prop betting is much more difficult than finding questionable spread, moneyline, or over/under bets since prop bets can be smaller, secondary outcomes within a game. There are also tons of NCAA athletes in action every day, which makes checking in on every performance even more difficult.

Baker is hoping that states will come together to pass legislation deeming prop betting on amateur athletics illegal. He also said that the NCAA is working with gaming firms to lobby for a “prohibited bettors list” that would prevent individuals with a history of (online) harassment of players or coaches from placing any sports bets.

He also said that legislative changes would ease some of the new strain that has been put on college athletes, such as being put under 24/7 surveillance at championship events, which the NCAA did last spring.

More money, more problems

$93 billion was wagered on sports last year, and another $15 billion was bet on March Madness alone. More and more states are also choosing to legalize sports betting, most recently Maine, while Florida also just launched its online betting market after a lengthy battle in the court system.

The drastic influx of money has raised concern that scandals will become commonplace in college sports. The sign-stealing situation at the University of Michigan is a testament to that.

U of M allegedly stole signs from opponents by sending a team official to their future opponents’ games to observe how they called plays, what their signals were, and more.

The Big Ten informed Michigan, one of the favorites to win the College Football Playoff, that it could be subject to punishment from the conference. However, the school responded by telling the Big Ten commissioners that he did not have the authority to reprimand the school or its coach.

The Big Ten also received documents from Michigan that alleged Ohio State, Rutgers and Purdue had conversations about the Wolverines’ signals during the 2022 season.

Baker’s immediate focus is on raising education and awareness to help student-athletes and team personnel stay out of harm’s way.

“The challenge for us is going to be to do everything we can to educate student-athletes and schools so that people get a sense about what they need to do to stay out of trouble,” said Baker. “And just as importantly, that if they do engage in some of this activity, it's gonna get discovered and it's gonna get discovered quickly.”

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.