Man, what a dilemma for college sports — all that money to be made from tapping into gambling’s insatiable demand for data tempered by the risk posed as a result of not paying the hired help ($$).
“The topics of gambling on college sports and the compensation of collegiate athletes are entirely intertwined with one another and cannot reasonably be separated,” said Marc Edelman, a professor at Baruch College who specializes in sports law. “Today, there is far less concern about professional, commercialized athletes fixing games than there was in 1919 because the minimum salary in the four premier professional sports leagues is approaching half a million dollars. You are not going to have players like Shoeless Joe Jackson, who feel that they are not earning enough money to live a life in which they are entitled. The lone exception to that is college sports, which is a $13 billion industry and which coaches make many millions of dollars per year.
“That is entirely the NCAA’s own doing, by keeping its athletes even more impoverished than the players on the 1919 Chicago White Sox.”
That, essentially, is why some key voices in college athletics are sounding alarms. Their athletes are the most vulnerable by far.
“Sports wagering is going to have a dramatic impact on everything we do in college sports,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said at the NCAA convention this year. “It’s going to threaten the integrity of college sports in many ways unless we are willing to act boldly and strongly.”
Somehow, I don’t think that means what Emmert thinks it means.