For years, the NCAA conducted a public messaging campaign urging the public not to bet on college sports. Despite the fact that the organization's biggest money-making event was the NCAA Tournament -- and the Tournament's popularity was driven by betting, either through official or unofficial means -- the NCAA put real money behind urging the public not to wager on college athletics, even attempting to trademark the phrase "Don't Bet On It" as recently as this January.
Turns out that mantra isn't shared by everyone in the membership.
Moving forward, Colorado would like you to go ahead and bet on it.
CU on Tuesday became the first NCAA school to sign an official partnership with a sports gambling company, making PointsBet the official sports book of Buffaloes athletics.
“This isn’t a deal just to get PR, this is a long-term view for both parties, and both parties had to get very comfortable with one another,” PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken told Sportico, who broke the story. “It is centered around education and those career pathways, and being in-state, the trust factor is heightened because we’re just miles away, not a plane flight away.”
In a deal brokered by Learfield IMG College, PointsBet will have signage at CU football and basketball games, plus advertisements in radio broadcasts, game programs and other spaces which Learfield IMG sells on CU's behalf.
The change, though drastic, mirrors those of the major sporting leagues' flip-flop on sports wagering in the wake of the Supreme Court ending the federal sports betting ban in 2018. They were all against it until they could make money off of it.
By this time next year, it's entirely possible a Buffs athlete could appear in an advertisement for CU's official sports gambling partner, then use part of his or her check to purchase legal marijuana.
Life, it comes at you fast.