NCAA President Charlie Baker urges state lawmakers to ban prop betting on college athletes

Wed, Mar 27, 2024

NCAA President Charlie Baker urges state lawmakers to ban prop betting on college athletes

NCAA President Charlie Baker on Wednesday urged lawmakers in states with legal wagering on sporting events to ban betting on individual player performances.

"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 getting harassed," Baker said in statement posted on social media. "The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets."

Prop bets allow gamblers to wager on statistics a player will accumulate during a game. The NBA has opened an investigation into Toronto Raptors two-way player Jontay Porter amid gambling allegations related to his own performance in individual games.

Ohio, Vermont and Maryland are among the states that have removed prop betting on college athletes. Baker said NCAA officials are reaching out to lawmakers in other states to encourage similar bans.

The NCAA is in the middle of the March Madness basketball tournaments and for the sixth straight year the number of states with legal gambling has increased, with North Carolina recently becoming the 38th.

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The American Gaming Association estimates $2.7 billion will be bet this year on the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments through legal sportsbooks.

Companies that monitor sports betting for irregularities have warned college sports administrators that prop betting on unpaid athletes elevates the potential risk for a scandal.

The NCAA conducted a survey after last year's basketball tournaments that found 58% of 18- to 22-year-olds are gambling.

Baker has said the proliferation of legal sports gambling has increased stress on college athletes.

"All that chatter about who's playing, who's not playing. Who's sore, who's not sore. What's going on with the team you're playing? What do you think your chances are? Which is just classic chatter, where - in a world where people are betting - takes on a whole new consequence," Baker said in January before his address to membership at the NCAA convention.

The NCAA has partnered with a data science company called Signify, which also works with the NBA Players Association and WNBA, to online identify threats made to athletes during championship events that are often linked to wagering.

"Basically tracks ugly, nasty stuff, that's being directed at people who are participating in their tournaments and we'd use it the same way," Baker said in January. "And it can shut it down or basically block it. And in some cases even track back to where it came from."


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RALPH D. RUSSO Russo has been the national college football writer for The Associated Press for two decades. He is a native New Yorker. twitter mailto "
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