NHL, col­leges

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - By Safid Deen and Matt Murschel Staff writ­ers

AMELIA IS­LAND — The Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion that now al­lows states to le­gal­ize sports bet­ting was not for­mally dis­cussed by ACC of­fi­cials and coaches dur­ing spring meet­ings this week.

But ath­letic di­rec­tors and coaches agree that for­mal ed­u­ca­tion is nec­es­sary if states be­gin to al­low sports bet­ting.

“We re­ally didn’t get to that one,” Clem­son ath­letic di­rec­tor Dan Radakovich said of gam­bling dis­cus­sions dur­ing ACC spring meet­ings. “I think it’s go­ing to be less on a na­tional perspective and more on a state-by-state piece.”

“There will plenty of time for that down the road,” added Bill Han­cock, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

New Jer­sey, Con­necti­cut, Delaware, Mis­sis­sippi, New York, Penn­syl­va­nia and West Vir­ginia are ea­ger to join Ne­vada, the only state ex­empted from the 1992 Pro­fes­sional and Am­a­teur Sports Pro­tec­tion Act the Supreme Court deemed un­con­sti­tu­tional Mon­day.

As for the state of Florida, le­gal­iz­ing sports bet­ting could be met with op­po­si­tion from ma­jor state in­flu­encers such as Dis­ney and the Semi­nole Tribe.

Thurs­day, the NCAA an­nounced it will al­low states con­don­ing sports gam­bling to host cham­pi­onship events, tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend­ing its cur­rent pol­icy on the mat­ter.

The NCAA also said it may re­con­sider ap­pro­pri­ate con­se­quences for col­lege ath­letes and school ath­letic depart­ment em­ploy­ees who legally bet on sports. Il­le­gally wager­ing is al­ready an NCAA vi­o­la­tion.

With the pos­si­bil­ity of Florida col­lege sports teams com­pet­ing in states with le­gal­ized sports bet­ting in mind, coaches and ath­letic di­rec­tors be­lieve re­vamp­ing ed­u­ca­tion for play­ers, coaches and of­fi­cials will be nec­es­sary mov­ing for­ward.

“Like with any­thing that changes, you have to educate peo­ple on them, and we def­i­nitely need to educate our play­ers, coaches and ev­ery­one,” new FSU foot­ball coach Wil­lie Tag­gart said. “It’s a learn­ing op­por­tu­nity and we have to do that. It’s an ad­just­ment, and we all have to ad­just to it. We have to do a great job of teach­ing our ath­letes about bet­ting.”

Miami ath­letic di­rec­tor Blake James ac­knowl­edged the topic of sports bet­ting was dis­cussed in­for­mally among col­leagues.

While ed­u­ca­tion con­cern­ing il­le­gal sports bet­ting is al­ready tak­ing place, James says schools should take a proac­tive ap­proach on the new is­sue of le­gal­ized sports gam­bling.

“I think many of us or all of us are naive if we think our fans weren’t bet­ting on col­lege sports be­fore . ... Ob­vi­ously now it’s go­ing to be a lit­tle more struc­tured in states it is le­gal­ized, but it’s go­ing to con­tinue to hap­pen,” James said. “What we can do is con­tinue to educate our stu­dents to the ram­i­fi­ca­tions and make sure we’re not com­pro­mis­ing the in­tegrity of the game.”

With the Mon­day rul­ing, sports leagues in­clud­ing the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL called for fed­eral reg­u­la­tion on sports gam­bling with hopes of keep­ing the in­tegrity of games in­tact.

But the new rul­ing could in­flu­ence sports leagues to re­quest cer­tain reg­u­la­tions be in­cluded in leg­is­la­tion at the state or fed­eral level.

For ex­am­ple, the NBA ear­lier this year said it would seek a 1 per­cent tax on le­gal bets.

The NCAA re­mains stead­fast in not per­mit­ting col­lege ath­letes or ath­let­ics em­ploy­ees to place bets.

“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,” NCAA pres­i­dent Mark Em­mert said in a state­ment.

“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.”

JIM RASSOL/STAFF FILE PHOTO

Miami AD Blake James says play­ers need ed­u­ca­tion if sports bet­ting be­comes le­gal.

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