The NCAA has revised its guidelines for student-athletes caught gambling on other college sports at their own schools. Previously, students who bet on their own sports or other sports at their schools faced permanent loss of eligibility.
The change in rules comes after the Collegiate Commissioners Association expressed concerns about the overly harsh nature of the previous penalties. The NCAA’s decision reflects a more balanced approach to address the prevalence of sports betting among college students while still maintaining the integrity of competition.
Under the new guidelines, student-athletes caught wagering on teams at their school, excluding their own team, will now face a one-season suspension and a loss of one year of eligibility. They will also be required to participate in sports wagering rules and prevention education as a condition of reinstatement. The Division I Council Coordination Committee supported the decision, acknowledging the need to modify reinstatement conditions for specific cases involving sports betting.
Jon Steinbrecher, chair of the Council Coordination Committee and commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, emphasized that Division I members do not encourage student-athletes to engage in sports wagering at any level. The change in reinstatement conditions should not be interpreted as support for wagering behaviors.
The new rules aim to strike a balance between addressing the reality of widespread betting on college campuses and maintaining the integrity of collegiate sports. The penalties are intended to be more fitting for 2023, recognizing that young athletes might make mistakes without necessarily jeopardizing their entire careers.
Despite the adjustment in reinstatement guidelines, the NCAA continues to prohibit student-athletes, coaches, and athletics administrators from engaging in sports wagering in any sport sponsored by the NCAA, including collegiate and professional sports. The change in rules signals a step forward in reevaluating NCAA regulations related to sports wagering, with further discussions likely to follow on this evolving issue.
The updated decision might offer relief to some athletes implicated in betting controversies at Iowa and Iowa State. DeShawn Hanika, a tight end at ISU, was cited for betting solely on Iowa State basketball games and not football matches. However, nine other football players from both Iowa and Iowa State universities still face the prospect of permanently losing their eligibility due to their involvement in gambling on their own games.