Student Athletes

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Gambling Among College Student Athletes

  • 72% of student athletes have gambled at least once since entering college (Cross & Vollano, 1999)1
  • 1 in 20 male student athletes admitted to having providing inside information for gambling purposes, betting on a game in which they participated or accepting money for performing poorly in a game (Cross & Vollano, 1999)1
  • Student athletes who gambled on sports with bookies gamble an average of $225 per month (Cross & Vollano, 1999)1
  • College athletes are more likely to gamble than non‐athletes (NCAA, 2004), and about twice as likely to be problem gamblers (Rocket, Beason & Gilbert, 2002)2
  • According to the NCAA’s 2008 gambling survey, about 30% of male student-athletes and 7% of female student-athletes reported wagering on sporting events within the past year.3
  • The FBI estimates more than $2.5 billion is wagered illegally on March Madness.3
  • Despite the prevalence of on-campus gambling, only 22% of U.S. colleges and universities have formal policies on gambling.4

Dangers of Student Athlete Betting

  • Athletic and Academic Failure
  • Relationship/Family problems
  • Loss of jobs/scholarships
  • Legal and financial troubles (accruing a lot of debt)
  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Crime*
  • Much higher rates of suicide
  • Studies show that the earlier people start to gamble, the more likely they are to become problem gamblers
  • Ask anyone in treatment, gambling is an addiction just like alcohol or drugs1

*Gambling can turn deadly. Read how three college students were shot to death over a gambling debt at the University of Wisconsin.

NCAA Gambling Rules for Student Athletes
The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering on college sports. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes, athletics departments, conference offices and NCAA national office employees from wagering on intercollegiate, amateur, and professional sports in which the Association conducts championships.3

  • Student athletes may not place any bet of any sort on any college or professional sports event, or even fantasy sports.
  • Student athletes may not give information to anyone who does place bets on college or professional sports.
  • The Don’t Bet on It Website is an NCAA Web site used to educate student-athletes, coaches, athletic administrators and the general public about NCAA rules on sports wagering.3

Famous College Gambling Incidents

  • 2003, University of Washington: Football head coach Rick Neuheisel fired for participating in a NCAA basketball betting pool.
  • 1997, Arizona State: Two basketball players pleaded guilty to point shaving on four home games. Fifteen of 22 fraternities turned up in records of an illegal gambling ring on campus.
  • 1996, Boston College: Thirteen football players were suspended for gambling on games; two players were found to have bet against their own team.
  • 1995, University of Maryland: Five football players, including the starting quarterback, were suspended for gambling on sports.1

Did You Know…?
Nevada and Oregon are the only states where betting on sports is legal (only the State Lottery form in Oregon is legal). It is estimated as much as $380 billion each year is illegally wagered on sporting events (NORC, 1999)5

Wondering if you, or someone you know, may have a problem? Click here to learn more, or call the free, confidential, 24/7/365 problem gambling helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537) to speak to someone immediately!

*Callers outside of California can call the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

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