NCAA President Confirms 175 Sports Betting Violations Since 2018, 17 Open Cases

USA Legal Betting


  • There are roughly 520,000 NCAA student-athletes as of 2021-22
  • The NCAA recently lessened punishments for athletes in violation of the gambling policy
  • Lawmakers are calling for transparency from the NCAA and professional sports bodies

The NCAA revealed there have been 175 violations of the sports betting policy since the form of gambling was legalized nationally via a federal court decision in 2018.

Along with the 175 infractions, there are 17 open investigations pending resolution, per NCAA President Charlie Baker in a letter to Nevada  Rep. Dina Titus. Though these are small numbers compared to the half-a-million-plus student-athletes that participate in the NCAA every year, they are still of concern to the NCAA as sportsbooks continue to grow in America.

Details of active investigations were not disclosed in the letter to the representative.

Looking at the numbers

Baker’s letter was in response to Congress’ request for additional information regarding instances of suspicious betting behavior.

“This kind of transparency is crucial for the integrity of the game and the success of legal sports betting,” Titus said. “Now that we have answers from the NCAA, I need to hear from professional sports leagues about their efforts to protect players and the public from illegal activities.”

The 175 breaches of the gambling policy ranged from student-athletes placing bets of as little as $5 to sharing sensitive information that could drastically change the complexion of a particular event from a gambling perspective.

In addition to the 175 violations, Baker said that roughly 0.25% of the NCAA’s estimated 13,000 sporting events were flagged for suspicious betting activity, and that “a much smaller percentage have specific, actionable information.” 

The NCAA works with accountability firms such as U.S. Integrity to manage its events and educate student-athletes about the dangers of betting on games, sharing privileged information, or committing other offenses of the gambling policy. 

U.S. Integrity was responsible for alerting regulators in Ohio of suspicious betting patterns during an Alabama-LSU college baseball game that saw one man bet $100,000 on the Crimson Tide after receiving a text from head coach Brad Bohanon that their starting pitcher was being scratched. Lines for the game were pulled from sportsbooks, and that coach was eventually fired by the university. 

It is unclear if the culprit (Bert Neff Jr.) was placing the bets on Bohanon’s behalf, but it is known that the latter was aware the former was using the information to place wagers.

More eyes on sports betting

Many, if not all, of the active investigations likely involve 41 student-athletes at The University of Iowa and Iowa State University that have been in the headlines for months. The details of the cases or the potential violations committed are largely unknown, but there has been talk of possible violations.

Baker welcomes the increased attention to the world of sports betting and its overlap with the NCAA. 

“I appreciate Congress’ increased attention to the topic of sports betting,” Baker wrote. “I agree with you that in addition to the opportunities it creates, sports betting brings risk that could undermine the integrity of competition.”

The new information comes just a few weeks after the NCAA rolled out a new set of punishment standards for student-athletes found in violation of the sports betting policy.

Whereas previous guilty parties were subjected to harsh suspensions and the possible death penalty (referring to the end of their athletic careers in the NCAA), they have been lowered to as little as educational courses for parties that bet $200 or less to a 30% loss of a season’s eligibility for bets of $801+ (penalties can be increased if bets greatly exceed that threshold). 

Lots of attention from regulators and sports entities including but also beyond the NCAA has been turned to preserving the integrity of different events. Professional leagues such as the NFL have also cracked down on gambling violations by suspending culprits and implementing mandatory league-wide educational programs for incoming rookies.

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.