NCAA president urges state lawmakers to ban prop betting: ‘Protect the integrity of the game’

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NCAA President Charlie Baker is doing his part to crack down on “sports betting issues,” urging state lawmakers Wednesday to ban prop betting on college athletics. 

Amid a wave of gambling issues at both the collegiate and pro levels, Baker released a statement on social media urging states to ban prop betting, wagers placed on individual players’ statistical performances during games. 

Charlie Baker is interviewed

Charlie Baker, NCAA president and a former Massachusetts governor, is interviewed by Boston Globe Sports writer Chris Gasper at the Globe Summit 2023.  (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

“Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity of competition and leading to student-athletes and professional athletes getting harassed,” Baker said.

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“The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats, and many are responding by banning college prop bets.”

Several gambling scandals over the past year have likely contributed to the NCAA’s push to remove prop bets. In February, former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was assessed a 15-year ban for knowingly providing “insider information” to someone betting on a Crimson Tide baseball game in April 2023. 

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About two dozen Iowa and Iowa State athletes were criminally charged last year in a sports wagering case. Most pleaded guilty to underage gambling, while the case against four players was dismissed earlier this month. 

Charlie Baker gives TV interviews

NCAA President Charlie Baker gives a television interview during a game between the UCLA Bruins and the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena March 25, 2023, in Greenville, S.C.  (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The NFL also suspended a number of players last year for violating its gambling policy. And, this week, the NBA said it was looking into allegations that involve prop bets related to Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter’s performance in two games this year. 

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The NCAA is looking to mitigate any chances of sports betting influencing its games with Baker’s latest proposal. 

“This week we will be contacting officials across the country in states that still allow these bets and ask them to join Ohio, Vermont, Maryland and many others and remove college prop bets from all betting markets,” Baker’s statement added. 

Charlie Baker sits with SEC commissioner

Greg Sankey, commissioner of the SEC, and Charlie Baker, president of the NCAA, sit courtside at a Florida Gators-Mississippi State Bulldogs game during the 2023 SEC tournament at the Bridgestone Arena March 9, 2023, Nashville.  (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

“The NCAA is drawing the line on sports betting to protect student-athletes and to protect the integrity of the game. Issues across the country these last several days show there is more work to be done.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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