The next wrinkle in conference expansion?

There may be gold in them ‘thar sports books, pardnah.

The NBA and Major League Baseball are already pursuing the so-called integrity fee, a percentage of the amount bet that’s cloaked as payments to maintain integrity and oversight of their sport in each state.

“Neither the NCAA or any conferences have joined them,” Rodenberg said, “but perhaps they will.”

Of course they will. There’s too much money at stake, not to mention too much existing debt and too many escalating costs.

And because the Power Five control college football, not the NCAA — thank you, SCOTUS — they could be free to pursue their own integrity fees just as they cut their own TV deals.

Imagine each conference collecting one percent of the total handle (i.e., amount wagered) on football games in states throughout its footprint.

(Also think about the potential impact on realignment: Smaller schools in big-handle states could become more desirable. By 2030, Buffalo just might be a member of the SEC.)

Dunno about Buffalo, but I’d keep an eye on what the Big Ten may reap from Rutgers and a potential New Jersey integrity fee over the next few years.  If that pans out favorably, I can’t imagine Greg Sankey’s willing to leave that kind of money on the table for too long, even if the SEC gets to dip its wick in Mississippi’s doing something similar.  If not, there’s no telling where the SEC goes.


1 Comment

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One response to “The next wrinkle in conference expansion?

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    New Jersey integrity fee? Now there’s a self contradicting statement.

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