NCAA students may still be punished even if they are cleared of any ‘legal’ wrongdoing

“In the big picture, it’s to protect students, athletes, coaches, and staff members.”
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - After over 40 student-athletes from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University were announced to be under investigation for potential sports wagering violations, a deeper focus has been placed on what the NCAA rules are and the reasoning behind them

“In the big picture, it’s to protect students, athletes, coaches, and staff members.”

Ben Messerli, the director for compliance at UNI Athletics says that’s why the NCAA prohibits gambling on any sport it sponsors, including pro sports. He says student-athletes can bet on non-sponsored sports like NASCAR. But most sports bets will get them in big trouble.

“You could be in a position where you are able to be taken advantage of, and all of a sudden one thing leads to another and we’re in a bad place whether it’s yourself, your family, or our institution in general.”

Since these rules were put in place, sports wagering has changed. Before 2019 it was illegal outside of Nevada. Now, in many states including Iowa, you can legally bet on your phone. Drake Law professor Keith Miller says that’s a problem.

“Those rules developed at a time before the Supreme Court authorized sports betting I think that eliminating the rules would be a bad idea, but they clearly are outdated. They need to be reviewed.”

Miller says he doesn’t claim to know the exact solution but it’s safe to say regulations probably won’t change in the near future.

“It’s popped up occasionally, but there’s been no traction on it because there’s honestly bigger fish to fry. It’s kind of five years out of someone’s life that they can’t bet on sports to be honest with you, so that’s not a major area of discussion, because does that affect a student athlete’s experience at the school? Probably not.”