The NCAA’s Gambling Working Group is preparing to roll out college football’s first standardized injury report, according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.
The proposal is expected to roll out later this month, and would go into effect for the 2019 season.
This idea has been bandied about ever since the Supreme Court legalized state-by-state sports gambling last May, widely viewed as a necessary effort to protect the sport’s integrity.
But it has been met by privacy concerns. College athletes are not employees, the NCAA and its member schools like to tell us, so why should they have private medical information broadcast to the betting public?
It appears the Grambling Working Group has found a middle ground. According to Dodd, the standardized injury reports would divide players into three purposefully-vague buckets: available, possible or unavailable.
This is merely a workaround, not a perfect solution. Plenty of coaches are resistant to even acknowledging the concept of injuries — “We don’t talk about injuries” — much less which of their players are afflicted by them. If that’s the case, what incentive do they have to tell the truth? If a player is marked as unavailable, what’s going to happen if a coach puts him in a game?
“If I said ‘unavailable,’ I still want the right to make that a game-time decision,” Texas head coach Tom Herman told CBS Sports.
College Sports, Inc., cannot stop people from gambling on college football games; that’s a state government decision. To date, Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have legalized sports gaming, while Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee and Montana are “very close” to joining the fray, according to Legal Sports Report. And this is all within the 1-year mark of the repeal.
So, in the meantime, the NCAA and its schools will have to figure out how to manage this issue it cannot control, and it appears this is the best they’ve got so far.