It is no secret that the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) is not pleased with the fact that the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear New Jersey’s request to overturn the federal ban on sports betting. After all, the NCAA, along with major sports leagues, is one of the plaintiffs on the New Jersey sports betting case. The NCAA considers sports betting a direct threat to the integrity of the sports it represents.
However, should the Garden State be successful in its appeal, the NCAA may have to get used to a new reality and decide how to advance from here on.
Should the Supreme Court rule in favor of New Jersey’s appeal, there is no doubt that the state will allow sports betting on college sports almost immediately. The NCAA could fight New Jersey, as well as other states that are sure to move in that direction, but it would probably be fighting a lone battle. The major sports leagues may not join the NCAA in its battle, and may rather accept the Supreme Court’s ruling.
This leaves the NCAA another choice – to fight rather on another front. The NCAA may want to battle instead to have college sports excluded from any changes made by the Supreme Court to PASPA – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Again, this seems like a tough fight for the NCAA, considering how many billions of dollars are wagered each year on college basketball and football at offshore sites.
Could the NCAA be part of a regulated betting environment? Perhaps, if the association changes its tough stance against sports betting, it could help to create laws and work towards protecting the integrity of college sports within a regulated environment. As much as the NCAA may despise this option, many believe that if New Jersey wins its appeal, it may be the only viable option for the group.
The NCAA is “dedicated to the well-being and lifelong success of college athletes,” and believes that protecting the integrity of the sports is part of its mission. Around half a million college athletes form part of the 19,500 teams that send over 54,000 participants to compete each year in the NCAA’s 90 championships in 24 sports across 3 divisions in the United States.