Working with NCAA

Do you have a position with regards to federal legislation? – We do, in fact, our senior executives recently have had some meetings with the Justice Department around a federal framework, we think that’s the most effective way to address this, as opposed to having 50 different state laws regarding sports wagering, so we’re hopeful that there will be some federal framework that will put out a consistent policy about sports wagering, so that is something that is very important to the NCAA. – But realistically, you don’t think that federal legislation will prohibit wagering on amateur athletic events? – You know, I honestly don’t know, I mean, if we, in a perfect world, we would hope that’s the case it’ll be, but I think it’s pretty much understood now the horse is already out of the barn, I think that’s the landscape where we’re gonna be going forward, that sports wagering is acceptable, it’s legal, it’s regulated, and I think we just have to adjust, that’s the environment going forward, where do we fit in in collegiate athletics to make sure that our games stay legit, and that our student athletes are not harmed in any way, so I think that there’s a recognition that this is the reality of where we’re going to be, and going forward, how do we coexist in that new environment? – Hey, Derek, I know this is not the topic for the day, but doesn’t the fact that there’s sports wagering, and it’s gonna happen on NCAA competitions, put pressure on the NCAA, on the pay-for-play issue, because now you have college students who are not getting what they think they deserve, monetarily, and there are going to be all sorts of external pressures on them, influences, pay-offs, to effect game outcomes, because they are now significant to gambling interests and maybe paying players, college athletes a little something reduces the integrity threat?

Alright, you know, that’s been an argument that’s been advocated, in fact, I read an article just this morning on the flight here that advocated that position, I don’t know that I necessarily agree with it, I think there are always pressures that our students athletes face, just candidly especially the revenue producing sports, football and men’s basketball, they see the money that’s generated, they’re not blind or naive to it, and we get it in a lot of ways, and I think there are a number of efforts within the association to address those, from looking at out amateurism model in many respects, so I don’t necessarily know that paying student athletes would lessen the likelihood that they could be compromised, I think that could be a case, may that it would, but I don’t know that that’s kinda settled at this point. – And I think from my perspective as a regulator and in law enforcement the greatest risk we feel for integrity is clearly tied to the lower-level funded athlete, whether it be a minor leaguer or a g-leaguer in basketball, or college athletes, and to put it in perspective so people have facts, state of Nevada handle last year on sports wagering was five billion dollars. Number one sport that was bet on in Nevada were the NCAA football and basketball teams, because they had more games, they had more teams, and people are really interested in gambling on college athletics in the United States as opposed to, as Jodi mentioned, some of the European jurisdictions, they really don’t have that type of event to wager on in their countries.