University President Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., To Chair NCAA Task Force On Sport Wagering
Task force will analyze results of an NCAA study on sports wagering and recommend strategies to counteract sports wagering among student-athletes.

May 17, 2004

University of Notre Dame president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., has been named chair of a National Collegiate Athletic Association task force that will analyze results of an NCAA study on sports wagering and recommend strategies to counteract sports wagering among student-athletes.

That announcement was made last week in Chicago by NCAA president Myles Brand, in conjunction with release of results from an NCAA-commissioned national study revealing a “disturbing” frequency of sports wagering among student-athletes.

“By commissioning this study-the largest examination ever of sports wagering by student-athletes-and by establishing the task force, the NCAA is taking a leadership role at the national level to address this problem among student-athletes before it reaches crisis proportions,” Brand said.

Brand said the task force’s charge is to develop recommendations with a dual focus of ensuring the well-being of student-athletes as well as the integrity of intercollegiate athletics. The recommendations could include expanding education efforts, proposed NCAA legislation and suggestions for legislation at the state and federal levels, he said.

The task force will also examine the study’s findings on associated behaviors that might be indicators or predictors of wagering. Those results are still being analyzed by NCAA research staff. It is anticipated that the study will be replicated in future years in order to understand trends and assess the effectiveness of enforcement and educational programs.

The NCAA’s 2003 National Study on Collegiate Sports Wagering and Associated Health Risks is the most comprehensive of its kind to measure the preponderance of wagering among student-athletes. It encompasses responses from approximately 21,000 male and female student-athletes at NCAA member institutions across all three NCAA divisions in most NCAA championship sports.

“The scope of sports wagering among intercollegiate student-athletes is startling and disturbing,” said Brand.

“Sports wagering is a double-threat because it harms the well-being of student-athletes and the integrity of college sports.”

Student-athletes were asked a multitude of questions about sports-wagering behaviors and associated health risks, such as alcohol and drug use. The questionnaire was developed with the assistance of Dr. Durand Jacobs, a noted national researcher in the field of youth gambling.

The study’s key findings indicate that male student-athletes are engaged in gambling or sports wagering at rates much higher than females student-athletes. Specifically, the data show that almost 35 percent of male student-athletes have engaged in some type of sports wagering behavior in the past year, compared to only 10 percent of female student-athletes.

The survey also shows that Division III student-athletes are the most likely to engage in gambling or sports wagering, followed by Division II student-athletes, while Division I student-athletes were the least likely.

“This finding actually reflects a positive result from the NCAA’s current gambling education and enforcement efforts focused on Division I and men’s basketball in particular, but more efforts are needed in Divisions II and III,” Brand said.

Other key findings show that football players reported taking part in significant infractions of NCAA gambling bylaws at rates slightly higher than men’s basketball players. Specifically, 1.1 percent of football players reported taking money for playing poorly in a game, and 2.3 percent of football players admitted they had been asked to affect the outcome of a game because of gambling debts. Additionally, 1.4 percent of football players admitted having affected the outcome of a game because of gambling debts.

According to the study, the sports with the highest percentages of male student-athletes involved in wagering on collegiate sports are men’s golf, wrestling, lacrosse and football. For female student-athletes wagering on collegiate sports, the sports with the highest involvement are golf, lacrosse, basketball and field hockey.

Faculty athletics representatives distributed questionnaires to student-athletes from all NCAA member institutions across all three divisions. The NCAA provided the faculty athletic representatives with specific guidelines for administering the survey. Participation was voluntary and respondents were guaranteed anonymity and confidentiality.

NCAA Sports Wagering Task Force Roster

Name                               Title/Institution/OrganizationGreg Abbott                       Attorney General, State of TexasRicky Adams                     Major, Louisiana State University Police DepartmentBrady Barke                  Division III student-athlete, Webster UniversityBeth Bass       Chief Executive Officer, Women's Basketball Coaches AssociationDutch Baughman   Executive Director, Division 1-A Athletics Directors' Association

Albert D. Bean Jr. Director of Athletics, University of Southern MaineDan Curran President, University of DaytonJeffrey L. Derevensky, Ph.D. Co-Director, McGill University International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk BehaviorsDamon Evans Director of Athletics Designee, University of GeorgiaBob Gardner Chief Operating Officer, National Federation of State High School Associations

Woody Gibson Director of Athletics, High Point UniversityJim Haney Executive Director, National Association of Basketball CoachesDouglas N. Hastad Chancellor, University of Wisconsin, La CrosseDr. Jerald L. Henderson Assistant Professor/Counselor/Faculty Athletics Representative, Chicago State UniversityCraig Littlepage Director of Athletics, University of Virginia

Jeff Long Director of Athletics, University of PittsburghValerie Lorenz, Ph.D Executive Director, Compulsive Gambling Center, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland*Rev. Edward A. Malloy President, University of Notre DameJerry McGee President, Wingate UniversityMichael Anthony Munoz, Jr. Student-Athlete, University of Tennessee

M. Dianne Murphy Director of Athletics, University of DenverCharlie Nelms Vice-President for Institutional Development and Student Affairs, Indiana University, BloomingtonSheldon Steinbach Vice-President and General Counsel, American Council on Education**Grant Teaff Executive Director, American Football Coaches AssociationKen C. Winters, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Doug Woolard Director of Athletics, Saint Louis University*chair**vice-chair

NCAA Staff Liaison: Bill Saum, Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities, National Collegiate Athletic Association