A couple of random points about the brave new world of sports betting coming down the turnpike and how that might affect college football in ways we haven’t thought about too much yet:
- We all know what kind of control freaks college head coaches are when it comes to their rosters and the information flow. (Jim Harbaugh, for example, doesn’t even publish a depth chart.) So, this is going to be interesting to watch, to say the least:
Even if South Carolina doesn’t jump in the betting pool, enough other states will create a ripple that requires the NCAA and/or college conferences to adopt a uniform policy of injury reporting in football and basketball.
The weekly NFL injury report is all about gambling, to eliminate (lofty goal) or limit (more likely) inside information on injuries.
Such a college policy would take lots of pressure off the student trainer and walk-on punter, ideally cutting down on inquiries from guys who are just curious about how the starting running back’s knee feels this week.
As it is, some college teams keep injury reports to themselves. Others are only slightly less murky.
- While we joke about MACtion and the boost its mid-week night games will get from the spread of gambling, what does it say when that’s the only practical value those games have?
Look around at a lot of their “crowds” during those lonely Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday night games and you know it’s not a sustainable business in and of itself. These schools are basically being subsidized because the cable channels need content and gamblers need juice. That’s the only reason they exist.