“COVER ALERT”

ESPN has discovered the wide, wide world of sports gambling and the people running college football ain’t too happy about it.

“I don’t think those are things that ought to be a part of the presentation of college football, but maybe that’s the environment in which we find ourselves,” said Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby, adding that he was “quite sure that all of (the Big 12’s presidents and athletic directors) feel as I do that it’s inappropriate.”

So what are they gonna do about it?

About what you’d expect.

Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne, while noting his athletic department’s sponsorship deals with local casinos (which do not have sports books), said he’s concerned.

“Anytime there’s anything to do with sports gambling and college sports, understandably that will be something I would hope at some point will be discussed,” Byrne said.

Now there’s a guy who’s going to bring to real gravitas to the conversation.

“There is an existing concern about the inexorable march toward gambling being more and more central to sport,” Sankey told USA TODAY Sports. “It has clearly gotten more momentum based on messaging out of the NBA last year. We have to be mindful of the realities of the culture developing around us.”

Translation:  at some point in time, it’s gonna become a source of revenue the SEC can’t ignore.  And it’ll likely come from something like this:

Though it appears on the surface to be unrelated, several athletic directors connected the apparent new emphasis on sports betting with ESPN’s business relationships with companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, daily online fantasy sports businesses that promise cash prizes to winners. Last spring, according to multiple reports, ESPN’s parent company, Walt Disney Co., agreed to invest $250 million in DraftKings, but then backed out, apparently because of concerns that the enterprise too closely resembled gambling. Although the deal never came to fruition, DraftKings is spending several hundred million dollars in advertising over the next two years with ESPN, according to Sports Business Journal.

Although the bulk of the fantasy sports business — traditional or the daily version — has been centered on professional sports, college football is a growing portion of the business. The idea that fantasy sports would use college players’ names and performances to determine winners and payouts concerns athletic directors. Among other reasons, they’re concerned college athletes might be enticed to play the daily games — perhaps choosing themselves.

“We’ve been wrestling with all the issues around DraftKings and FanDuel,” Bowlsby said, “which I don’t think anybody can suggest isn’t gambling.”

But that’s exactly what ESPN and businesses like DraftKings and FanDuel suggest. Bowlsby noted that the Big 12’s TV contracts prohibit advertisements for gambling, other than for state-authorized lotteries, “but our television partners assert that it (fantasy sports games) isn’t gambling.”

After they cut that first check to your conference, you will too, Bob.  Bet on it.

38 Comments

Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

38 responses to ““COVER ALERT”

  1. Noonan

    Fantasy games are not gambling. They are legal, and if college players want to play (and draft themselves) there is no harm done to anyone.

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    • Brandon

      Until the Corner responsible for covering OU’s 3rd Receiver who no one else has ever heard of just decides to leave his guy wide open to have a monster day to make himself some money on Fanduel

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    • Mayor

      How are DraftKings and FanDuel not gambling? If it looks like a duck……..

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      • Cojones

        …..it probably wandered onto the field during an Oregon game?

        ….. you’re watching the Miami Hurricanes?

        …..it’s probably not a goose because they feel differently?

        …..you might fall on the ground before someone shouts it?

        …..you might want to ask the question another way in the interview?

        …..you should get out of the pool?

        …..you might consider it’s a Jayhawk sucking on the Starship Interprise?

        …..it could be an invasion from the sea in amphibious trucks?

        …..and it walks like a duck, it could be a Tenn fan dressed in white?

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  2. Rp

    Shit. Headline from October 2016: “Nick Chubb Suspended Indefinitely Pending Investigation of Online Fantasy Football Activity.”

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  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    This is the devil that will destroy college football.

    I have never understood “fans” who pollute their precious bodily essence by betting on a game their team was playing in. Who needs the extra angst….make the field goal or I’m gonna have the explain the check to my wife? Really.

    Betting on college football is like offering money to God.

    Course some folks think that may work, too.

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    • Cojones

      “pollute their precious bodily essence”? Thought this was a brain game. You know, the place where those karmic female dogs reside.

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  4. Macallanlover

    I am in no way encouraging a betting scandal in college or pro sports but it is naïve to think sports betting gets any bigger because ESPN talks openly about the gambling lines on games. The elephant on the room is a multi-billion dollar business already and other media outlets discuss the subject openly, including all local and national newspapers and magazines. The primary reason TV wants to talk about it is to make meaningless games and blowouts have extended viewing interest. Who can blame them for trying to hold viewers’ interest and improve their ratings to attract more advertising dollars? That said, I will tire quickly of “Cover Alert” updates.

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  5. 3rdandGrantham

    “Bowlsby noted that the Big 12’s TV contracts prohibit advertisements for gambling, other than for state-authorized lotteries.”

    Yea, because we all know state lotteries are a perfectly harmonious fabric of our society, in which all those who play are middle income or higher earning, who only play with a few extra measly dollars that they can easily dispose of with no repercussions. Not to mention that state lotteries themselves are run perfectly, in which 100% of the proceeds go directly towards the public good (for things like schools, infrastructure, etc.) and would never dared be wasted.

    I mean, come on…who does he think he’s fooling? If you’re going to accept state lottery advertisements, you might as well accept ads from Philip Morris, Jack Daniels…heck even Ashley Madison.

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    • Cojones

      I’m starting a rival business model to Ashley Madison that lists only guys. Women can then make arrangements or consignments that let them lead in fostering assignations (love that word). Torn about the name and would appreciate help: should it be called “Cojones Covers” because it’s about as big a gamble that you could take in life on gender and goes by “C-C” which phonetically states the business (see-see); “Assignation’s Secluded Secrets” with the First letter of the initials logo illustrated monk-like and could be worn by a proud member (words usually reserved for guys) on women’s sweaters (in red only) and across the bottoms of women’s jeans; or just simply “Tuck Her Inn” with an additional business model private motel chain (cash only, no paper trail) that rents car covers or has a privacy parking lot or underground parking, plus rents by the minute?

      Does this mean that ESPN can’t advertise the city of Las Vegas or Native American-owned casinos? There is nothing physically preventing gamblers from trying to rig college games, no matter the societal norms. You can off-shore bet on college games any time you wish.

      If Joe Namath could be persecuted for hanging around gamblers, Connie Hawkins persecuted for accepting loan money in college from a shady guy tied to gambling (having to sue and winning compensation) before joining the Phoenix Suns; etc, ad nauseum, I think the suspicion level couldn’t be enhanced any further by ESPN promoting gambling themes. If those internet games could lead to promulgating further cheating activity by players who have been free to have those thoughts (and some have acted upon them) for years, I would be surprised.

      “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      “in which all those who play are middle income or higher earning, who only play with a few extra measly dollars that they can easily dispose of with no repercussions. ”
      Jeepers 3rd. Confiscate their monies so they don’t squander it on alcohol,tobacco etc. Shut down the Golden Pantries that have huge markups on food staple items. Cause a lot folks in that lower income shop where they buy their tickets.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        You totally missed my point. I never said or even hinted at shutting lotteries down. I’m simply calling the Big 12 commish for vilifying gambling, all while gladly accepting advertising dollars from another form of gambling, which are state lotteries.

        Gambling is gambling, whether publicly run with monies gained wasted elsewhere or via some private entity.

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        • AthensHomerDawg

          I guess I did miss is. Its a blog and the internet.;-)
          Perhaps I followed that old meme that those who can’t afford the lottery and educational benefits it provides are subsidizing the educational benifits of those who can.

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          • 3rdandGrantham

            Oh absolutely. And Georgia happens to have the best run lottery in the country, thanks to the way the law was originally written back in the early 90’s so that it would pass.

            It paid my way through UGA, so I’m certainly thankful.

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            • Cojones

              One of the slyest putdowns I’ve ever heard was someone gushing to another “I hope you win the lottery!”. When you consider the odds, it takes on a completely different meaning.

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  6. The biggest aholes and most annoying people I’ve ever seen at games also happen to be guys who bet on them. Especially Georgia fans who bet on Georgia games.

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    • PTC DAWG

      This, exactly this.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Yep. UGA will be up, say, 37-16 with the game firmly in hand with 5 min left, and that guy you alluded to will be gnashing his teeth and basically going far more out of his mind than he was when the score was 7-7. At some point he’ll let the cat out of the bag by saying out loud something like, “dammit, that cheap a** touchdown just cost me $100. Thanks a lot Pruitt.”

        I generally don’t believe in ever hating others…but I hate that guy.

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        • Rp

          I was in a bar years ago while travelling. There was only 1 TV on each side of the bar and Michigan State was playing Wisconsin that night. When the game was starting I asked the gentlemen next to me if we could change the channel from the Bama game. Bama was beating directional U by 38 points and they refused because they had money on the game. Losers.

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          • I guess those guys never heard of smartphones to follow the score of the game. The final score is the only one that matters if your only interest is a betting interest.

            Regarding the topic at hand, I’m tired of watching the Draft Kings commercial of the guy watching the game with his “friends” to see if his “team” was going to win for him that day. Then, he’s dancing with his cardboard check like he actually did something other than press some buttons on a computer. It’s gambling, pure and simple, and any players caught betting on fantasy sports or helping others (“point/stat shaving”) should be punished severely by the governing organization.

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          • Cojones

            You were in a bar? with losers? Hmmm..

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        • Cojones

          But those kinds surround us in society every day, they just don’t shout it like the AF you mentioned. They may affront you with their freedom to say offensive curse words and sin according to your religion, but ain’t that the modern world?

          The next thing you know, someone will use a name that has more than one meaning and you prefer the one that pisses you off. To compound that, you may think he is promoting drugs by using parody and humor.

          My point is, don’t get upset at AFs because they are unlike. Offer the ahole $100 and ask for his address so that you can send him a check. That’s as nice a hint as you can give. Expect that there are some people who never take the hint. Bluto has a list.

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          • 3rdandGrantham

            Well people like that really don’t bother me anywhere near as much as they used to—I’m just yapping a bit and having some fun with the discussion based on prior experiences. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received involved expectations of others, in which you shouldn’t expect much, if at all, out of others, and when you get you should be pleasantly surprised. I’ve found that life in general is a far happier place when you have such an attitude, as compared to constantly getting pissed off when someone does something that you don’t like.

            And for those I generally decide pretty quick that they probably aren’t worth any of my time, I basically ignore them if at all possible.

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  7. PTC DAWG

    Other than the pick’em here (which I stink at) I could care less about point spreads. Just win…

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    • Cojones

      Everyone on here who didn’t breath a sigh of relief when UGA scored their last TD, please raise your hand. Man!, there are a lot of us who bet on UL-M to cover.

      It shows that we are competitive, not an activity that’s tantamount to joining Gambler’s Anonymous.

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  8. AusDawg85

    Paying players, legalizing gambling…by definition Auburn is going to become a clean program soon.

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  9. Gaskilldawg

    If there is a risk to the integrity of the game from players playing FanDuel (and I am not saying there is or is not), the risk is much greater than than that of a UGA player smoking a little weed in Florida on spring break.

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    • Cojones

      Our players don’t smoke weed, they eat it in brownies, inhale the air of others who smoke and carry it in their car for their friends.

      While posting, couldn’t help but think of the scene in Super Troopers where the one kid ate a bag of it and then the thoughts that must have gone through his mind when the off-duty trooper stole the car while shouting that he was going to take them to Mexico (one helluva distance from near the Canadian border).

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  10. Cojones

    Btw – loved your headline, Senator. Can just see it now. Wonder if Tea Party members read this blog? What are the odds on GOP candidates winning?

    You probably want to rethink posting odds about us reaching the NC.

    Like