Your winnings, sir.

Talk about sending a mixed message

In what is being billed as the first deal of its kind in the NCAA, the Mid-American Conference has signed a statistical data partnership and sponsorship agreement with Genius Sports, the league announced Wednesday.

The five-year agreement gives Genius Sports the rights to manage and market the stats for all sports in the conference. And it requires sports betting companies to pay for the MAC’s data if they want official statistics in real time, which are used to help set their betting lines.

As stances go, “kids, don’t bet on football; also, don’t pay attention to what we’re doing with gamblers for money” is certainly one of them, albeit not exactly a coherent one.

Eh?  What’s that, you say?  Oh, that never occurred to them.

All five states within the MAC (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio) have legalized sports wagering — the only FBS league with that status — but commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said the conference didn’t form the partnership to promote betting.

It just so happens that the deal is structured to require sports betting companies to pay for the data. What a lucky coincidence for you, Jon.

“We’re doing this to control our data, which ends up in the public domain anyway,” Steinbrecher told ESPN. “We want to manage that asset. We want that asset to provide value back to our institutions so that we can support our student-athletes, plain and simple.”

And there’s your tell — the “doing it for the kids” justification.  That’s how you know a conference commissioner’s taking a noble position on a matter.

There has been a perception in college athletics that NCAA rules prohibit selling statistical data to a sports wagering entity, but the MAC contends that’s not the case.

“We are of the opinion that the deal we’re entering into is consistent with NCAA rules and regulations,” Steinbrecher said.

In today’s college athletics, perceptions are fine as long as they don’t cost anything.



Filed under Bet On It, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

7 responses to “Your winnings, sir.

  1. DawgStats

    This is brilliant. That said, DawgStats are always free

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ll have to try that. “Officer, I am of the opinion I can speed through here.”

    “Doing it for the kids” should be in the Lexicon.


  3. 81Dog

    Just let them wet their beak, eh? 😏


  4. junkyardawg41

    “We are of the opinion that the deal we’re entering into is consistent with NCAA rules and regulations enforcement,” Since the NCAA has seemingly abdicated any role in oversight of rules infractions in lieu of waiting for Rome to burn, that is probably correct.