The NCAA Board of Governors, responding to the Supreme Court decision this week on sports gambling, said Thursday it would temporarily allow NCAA championships to be played in states that decide to legalize sports betting.
At the same time, the NCAA urged that strong federal regulations be in place to “safeguard the integrity of college sports.”
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the federal government could not ban states from allowing sports betting, striking down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
“Our highest priorities in any conversation about sports wagering are maintaining the integrity of competition and student-athlete well-being,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said Thursday in a statement. “Sports wagering can adversely impact student-athletes and undermine the games they play. We are committed to ensuring that laws and regulations promote a safe and fair environment for the nearly half a million students who play college athletics.
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“While we recognize the critical role of state governments, strong federal standards are necessary to safeguard the integrity of college sports and the athletes who play these games at all levels.”
The NCAA has had a policy of not allowing any NCAA championship competition to be held in a state allowing single-game sports wagering. The NCAA board said it might consider more permanent revisions in NCAA policy in future meetings.
The board said the NCAA would not change any rules prohibiting betting by athletes or athletic department employees. The NCAA, however, did say it might reconsider penalties against anyone legally betting in sports.
The NCAA said its policy restricting gambling sponsorships and advertising would not change.