Gambling includes lottery tickets, online betting games, cards, dice, dominoes etc (University of Texas, 2004). In past few months various football gambling stories have created a chaos among the coaches and administration of various colleges. Colleges are constantly trying to find new ways of finding and punishing the culprits. The main concern however, is to create such rules which can prevent students from placing a bet and hence getting involved in this organized crime. In past few years gambling incidents have been recorded from quite known and influential colleges.
These include Arizona State University, Boston College, University of Colorado, Columbia University, Fresno State University, and Northwestern University etc. According to a research done by a student from the University of Michigan, almost 72% of the students had gambled in one way or the other. Almost 80% of these were male students (Cross & Vollano, n. d). In order to understand the issue of student athlete gambling in more than an anecdotal way, this study was developed to learn the extent and nature of student athlete gambling.
According to The National Association of Student Personnel Administration (NAPSA), gambling is a problem not just in athlete students but in all students. They constantly urge college management to develop programs which aware students about the potential hazards of gambling (The National Association of Student Personnel Administration, 2007). In 1874, college professional sports had its first scandal. Louisville college football players were accused of gambling against their own team. According to Arnie Wexler, who was a former College football gambler, and is now a recognized expert on compulsive gambling;
Its easier to place a bet on a college campus than it is to buy a can of beer or a package of cigarettes, you just pick up a telephone and call a bookie on campus. You dont even have to leave your room (Kindred, 1996). This is absolutely true. The college administration usually does not care about such things. They burry their heads in the sand and if asked pretend as if nothing is wrong is happening. For past half century the college football and basketball has been full of wagering incidents. The National Collegiate athletic Association (NCAA) did a survey in 2003.
According to that survey almost one percent of the total college football players accepted money for poor performance. Moreover, half the time they played, they were able to change the outcome of the game by their performance. It was also found that almost 15% of the non athlete students also gambled. It is not just the gambling part, but the players usually provide inside information to the gamblers and help them win (National Collegiate athletic Association, 2003). Students who gamble risk their careers to fulfill their need and obsession to gamble.
Such activities do not necessarily occur in the isolation of college but the culprits might get together in a friends place in order to place the bet. Bets can be placed in the internet and in some cases via phone also. In 2004, two student bookies were caught. They were convicted of sports bribery. Stevin Hedake Smith owed almost $10,000 to a student bookie. In order to pay him back he agreed with the bookie to play poorly at the game. The FBI became suspicious and later caught him and his friends. After this incident the NCAA changed quite a few rules of the game.
Though before gambling was always condemned, but it was never a definite rule. However, after this event, the NCAA has anti gambling rules in black and white (Gabriel, 2004). Sometimes even a simple thing as accepting gift certificate can be termed as gambling too. In a simple event, few women participated in a simple pick a winner game and earned gift certificates of $50. When the college administration found out about this they banned those students from playing in the football team. Due to this event, accepting gift certificates was against the rules (National Endowment for financial education, 2004).
According to the NCAA; You may not place any bet of any sort on any college or professional sports event. You may not give information to anyone who does place bets on college or professional sports (National Endowment for financial education, 2004). Moreover, the NCAA further explains these rules as: There can be no betting on any sport, whether it involves your college or not. There can be no wager for any item i. e. cash, shirt, dinner etc. No sports pools No internet gambling No fantasy leagues (this means no fee for participation and no prize for winning)
No information exchange about your or any other team (including injury, or anyother problems) (NCAA, 2005; NCAA, 2003). Looking at the table below it can be determined how many students playing college football engage them selves in wagering activities and how many think that the rules above have really made a difference. Figure: Comparison of proportion of S_As who gamble on college sports versus proportion who says that NCAA Rules discourage sports wagering Source: NCAA, 2004 The change in the rules of college football has certainly reduces the amount of bets placed.
Though at some level students are still gambling, but if caught they know that their careers will come to an end. The amount of shame and humiliation caused by the media coverage also has an impact on the number of bets placed every year. According to the new rules by NCAA, any student who is caught violating the game rules will not be allowed to play in any of the plays he has formerly registered too. This means his entire career comes to a halt. Such strict rules have helped in the reduction of wagering issues (NCAA news release, 1999).
In August 2007, several students complained that the coaches were using text messages to gamble or place bets. Almost 75% of the people voted in favor of banning text messaging. Due to the gambling problem, yet another rule had to be placed. According to the New York Times, the NCAA has now placed a ban on text messaging. The president of NCAA was disappointed so much that he called this an embarrassment to all of intercollegiate athletics (Thomas, 2008). The coaches have tried to work around this rule too.
According to many coaches as there is no ban for e-mailing they can place bets on the e-mails. Many cell phone companies allow e-mailing also, so coaches are now trying new ways without breaking any rules (Miller, 2008). The administration should always clearly state the rules, as not doing so means leaving a loop hole, with the help of which the students can gamble. Sometimes, the committee can accuse somebody of gambling, but such a person might not have understood the rules properly. In 2004 a former football coach was accused of gambling.
He later sued NCAA for accusing him and later firing him. According to him he did not understand the way NCAA operates. Hence it is not just about defining rules, but explaining them in such a way that everybody understands them (Yaeger et al, 2004). Gambling in college football has very grave consequences. A student can get expelled from college, get humiliated in news stories, can become an embarrassment for himself and his family, get banned from all professional sports, become a victim of organized crime, ruin his financial resources and sometimes even end up in jail.
To summarize, wagering can destroy a persons life. It is not only the responsibility of the students themselves, but the responsibility of the college administration to help create awareness among students so that no student get involved in these matters and does not become a victim of bookies. Even though the generation today has certainly got more involved in gambling, poker, wagering etc, but measures can be taken in order to help these students. Many organizations are working and are constantly trying to help these students break their habits. It might be difficult but not impossible.
The management and the administration of the colleges should also instead of ignoring these things, in order to help prevent scandals and create a bad name of their schools, should help students get over this habit. Rules should be devised which are clear and strict. College students are the most important part of any population, and if they get involved in these things, this means that the human intellect has been affected.
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Gabriel, Walter (2004). Gambling common at colleges during March Madness: Office pool cost coach his job. Louisiana State University. The Daily Reveille. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from: http://media. www. lsureveille. com/media/storage/paper868/news/2004/03/11/Sports/Gambling. Common. At. Colleges. During. March. Madness-2048935. shtml Kindred, David. (1996). Ignoring gambling wont make it go away gambling at college campuses Column. The Sporting News. November 18. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from: http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_n47_v220/ai_18869994 Miller, Phil (2008). Like Water Around A dam.
Retrieved January 2, 2008 from: http://marketpower. typepad. com/market_power/college_football/index. html National Collegiate athletic Association (2003). Sports wagering; study on collegiate sports wagering and associated behaviors. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from: http://www. ncaa. org/library/research/sports_wagering/2003/2003_sports_wagering_study. pdf National Endowment for financial education (2004). Dont bet on it: put your money on a real winner, yourself. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from: http://www. ncaa. org/gambling/dontbetonit/2004. pdf NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). (2005).
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Report Of the NCAA Division I Working Group to Study Basketball Issues. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from: http://www. ncaa. org/releases/basketballissues/1999082001bi. htm Oregon Department of Human Services (2005). Gambling and College Students: Literature Review. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from: http://www. oregon. gov/DHS/addiction/gambling/collegestudents-gambling. pdf Thomas, Katie. (2008). N. C. A. A. Ban on Text-Messaging as Recruiting Tool Will Remain. The New York Times. 13th Jan. Retrieved January 3,2008 from: http://www. nytimes. com/2008/01/13/sports/13ncaa. html? _r=3&ref=ncaafootball&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
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