If you’re a DI athlete, you can bet good money you’ll be punished for gambling. But the rules have been slightly tweaked.
This week, the NCAA eased the penalty for same-school, different-sport gambling. For example, if you play basketball at a school and bet on the football team, under the old rules your collegiate career would be over right there. Now, your sentence would be comparatively lighter: just a suspension of one year, along with losing that year of eligibility.
Coupled with the change, student-athletes breaking sports betting rules will also be mandated to participate in prevention education as a condition of their reinstatement.
The punishment for players who gambled on their own teams remains a permanent loss of NCAA eligibility.
“To be clear, Division I members do not encourage student-athletes to engage in sports wagering at any level, and the actions today to modify reinstatement conditions should not be interpreted as support for wagering behaviors,” Jon Steinbrecher, chair of the Council Coordination Committee and commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, said in a statement. “NCAA members continue to prioritize integrity of competition and felt that reinstatement conditions for violations of wagering rules should reflect that focus and, when possible, also accommodate opportunities for preventative education.”
This decision is relevant in the case of Iowa Hawkeyes Senior football player Noah Shannon, who broke this very rule. The NCAA had denied his appeal for eligibility for this season, though Shannon rejoined the Hawks in training after the NCAA said they would review the penalties for student-athletes who participate in sports wagering with other teams at their school. However, while Wednesday’s decision did lighten the punishment, since Shannon is a senior, his career as a college football player is still over.