NCAA Council Approves New Punishment Standards for Sports Betting Violations

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
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  • The NCAA lessened the punishments for athletes found to have participated in sports betting
  • 41 athletes at Iowa and Iowa State are being investigated for sports betting violations
  • The new punishment code can be applied retroactively to infractions reported on or after May

The NCAA Division I Council approved a new list of punishment standards that offers more leniency to student-athletes found to have violated the gambling policy. 

The Wednesday announcement offers athletes the chance at as little as simple educational courses without mandating suspension from their respective sport, depending on how much money was gambled. The new standards come in response to an uptick in gambling violations at the professional and collegiate levels of sports.

The NCAA will retroactively apply the new policy to violations reported on or after May 2.

Details and reasons for change

Sports betting is no longer the crude periphery of sports entertainment that it once was. It is now responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars of economic stimulus and is legal in 38 states plus Washington D.C.

Individuals found to have wagered $200 or less will have to underdog sports betting rules and prevention courses. They were previously set up to miss 10% of their respective season.

Those who bet $201-500 will participate in the same course and miss 10% of their season, whereas they could previously miss 50%. Athletes that gamble $501-800 will miss out on 20% of their season and take the education and awareness class instead of potentially missing their entire season. 

Anyone that bets $801 or more will lose 30% of their eligibility and must take the prescribed classes. Amounts that “greatly” exceed $800 could result in increased suspension lengths.

There have been many concerns and warnings that the unrelenting growth of legal sports betting would lead to problems for student-athletes and the NCAA. According to Jacksonville University athletics director and D-I Legislative Committee chairman, Alex Ricker-Gilbert, the new penalties are reflective of the changing times. 

“These new guidelines modernize penalties for college athletes at a time when sports wagering has been legalized in dozens of states and is easily accessible nationwide with online betting platforms,” in the NCAA’s press release.

“While sports wagering by college athletes is still a concern — particularly as we remain committed to preserving the integrity of competition in college sports — consideration of mitigating factors is appropriate as staff prescribe penalties for young people who have made mistakes in this space.”

Overwhelming influence

In addition to the new punishment standards, the NCAA also said that student-athletes that provide sensitive information to bettors or that bet on sports at their own school could permanently lose their athletic eligibility. Athletes that bet on their own sports at another school can also lose up to 50% of their eligibility and must participate in the educational classes. 

The committee’s decision to amend the punishments for sports betting violations is good news to 41 athletes at Iowa and Iowa State University that have been linked to various infractions.

Virginia Tech linebacker Alan Tisdale bet $400 on the 2022 NBA Finals and made a $41 profit. He later notified the proper personnel and was handed a six-game suspension, which ended up being 50% of the season. The new rules would reduce that to just a one-game absence.

Sports betting is not just becoming increasingly popular amongst the masses and painting a target on the backs of young adult athletes, it is also taking over college campuses. According to a recent survey commissioned by the NCAA, 58% of over 3,500 respondents copped to having bet on sports at least once, and 67% of those living on campus said they gambled with regularity.

The survey targeted students in states with and without legal sports betting markets aged 18-22. That is significant because even in states where sports betting is legal, the gambling age is 21, which 60% of the survey demographic didn’t qualify for. That shows that even if the students can’t legally access online sportsbooks, they are still finding ways to gamble with offshore sportsbooks or local bookies.

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.