HomeLatest NewsNCAA Loosens Sports Betting Policy to Allow Data Deals

NCAA Loosens Sports Betting Policy to Allow Data Deals

The NCAA is further relaxing its long-standing opposition to sports betting concerning collegiate sports. Schools, individuals, and conferences are now permitted to sign potentially lucrative deals with data companies that sell their information to sports betting providers. Professional sports franchises have signed similar agreements, with the NBA and NFL earning over $100 million apiece for the same type of transactions. 

There is an ongoing national shift to embrace activities related to gambling in the US, whether it’s playing a game slot online or betting on your favorite NCAA team. As a result, sports betting is gradually increasing its hold on NCAA sports, with providers making partnerships with universities, post-season bowl games, and some individual athletes. 

What It Means for Schools

The memo released by the NCAA originated from a request from officials in the Mid-American Conference who were looking for clarification after announcing a deal to sell sports data to Genius Sports, who often sells data to oddsmakers, according to Sportico. Although the deal with the MAC did not include the right to sell its data, that could change now that the NCAA has made its ruling. 

The NCAA also ruled that data can only be sold to sports betting companies as long as the public has access to the same information. The NCAA already has a separate deal with Genius Sports, which is limited to providing coaching insight to sports programs and licensing scores to various media companies. 

Since the NCAA lifted its ban on sports betting companies advertising at games in 2020, many more states now have legal sports betting and allow wagering on college sports. In addition, several prominent university athletics departments have already partnered with some of the sportsbook operators to promote the industry and help enhance the bettor’s experience. 

The NCAA recently approved a new constitution this past January, giving more control to individual conferences and legislation that allows college athletes to profit from their name, likeness, and image. This gives more power to schools and conferences and vastly reduces the role of the NCAA in making policies for college sports. 

The activity is slowly moving the NCAA closer to professional sports leagues like the NBA and NFL. These are already profiting tremendously from the popularity of sports betting.   

Other Sports Betting Deals

With sports betting companies anxious to make their way into the NCAA, the University of Colorado signed a lucrative partnership deal with one of the major sportsbooks. LSU, Michigan State and the University of Maryland have done the same.

Of course, these schools still have a long way to go to reach the level of professional teams, some of which have sportsbooks and betting machines in their stadiums. Still, the recent decision looks like the NCAA is starting to see the benefits of sports betting have eased up on focusing on the negative. 

What’s On the Horizon

One of the biggest concerns of the NCAA is that college sports have been more prone to match-fixing, such as point shaving, than professional leagues since most players receive very little or no compensation. It’s also more susceptible in the many small schools and leagues than big conferences like the Big 12 or the ACC. 

However, the recent decision is the opposite of the NCAA’s past stance on sports betting. Partnerships with sports betting companies are rare right now, but there’s no doubt universities will forge many more soon.  

NCAA President Mark Emmert recently resigned his position, and based on his earlier thoughts regarding sports betting, the NCAA’s decision could have been the last straw for him. But instead, it now allows the association to move ahead and take advantage of the potential benefits of the growing sports betting industry. 

The terms of the deal between Genius Sports and the MAC haven’t been disclosed, but it’s smaller than more prominent conferences stand to make from their future arrangements. Conferences like the SEC and Big 12 have more football and basketball game fans than the major professional leagues, which also means more bettors. 

John Milton
John Milton
Having worked in the marketing department at two online sports betting sites, John brings his love of sports to serve BigOnSports as chief writer. He will be researching and writing about the sports betting community to improve your experience as a sports bettor.

Most Popular