Are NCAA Athletes allowed to Gamble?

The NCAA knows student-athletes gamble occasionally. In 2013, the organization discovered in a survey that 20% of college players engaged in fantasy sports illegally. Despite this, the NCAA seldom enforces its anti-gambling rules. So, can college sports players wager on sports?

NCAA Prohibits it

The NCAA may not enforce its rules judiciously, but it’s clear on its stance about sports betting.

“The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering, which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardizes the student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community.”

The Athletics Association goes ahead to give examples of things it deems illegal for college sports players.

“If you participate in a sports bet of any kind…by putting something at risk (i.e., money, entry fee or tangible item) for the opportunity to win something, (you become ineligible to play sports for a year). This would include participation in fantasy leagues, super bowl pools, March Madness, brackets, etc.”

With such clear guidelines, no player can defend themselves against the NCAA if caught gambling. Besides athletes, coaches, schools cannot aid their players in anything related to sports wagering. The NCAA is lucid about this.

In fact, the Athletic body has a fondness for punishing coaches and administrators when caught breaking its rules more than its students. Still, students shouldn’t use this as leeway to wager on their favorite teams. The NCAA has disqualified athletes before, and it could do it again.

States don’t allow it

After the Supreme Court struck off PASPA in May last year, over 20 states have introduced progressive sports betting laws. Some permit their residents to engage in online betting while others only support wagering at betting shops. A few states allow both online and traditional sports gambling.

But in nearly all cases, punters can’t wager on sports teams and athletes based within their state. In Delaware, for example, you can gamble online or at any of the licensed brick and mortar gambling shops. You can also wager on NCAA games in all states apart from Delaware.

In Iowa, you can bet on local college teams, but you can’t wager prop bets. For the uninitiated, props are wagers that don’t necessarily affect a game’s outcome. They involve predicting which quarterback scores the first goal, which soccer player picks a red card or places the first dunk in a basketball game.

New Jersey, which sponsored the bill seeking to legalize sports betting at a state level, licensed five online casinos immediately after the PASPA decision. Globally famous bookmakers like William Hill and Caesars Sportsbook now offer their services in the USA thanks to the state.

More top-rated bookies like Bet365 are in talks with New Jersey to acquire business permits. The UK-based betting firm is one of the most successful gambling companies. It offers all forms of modern and conventional sports markets.


Before the Supreme Court authorized states to take charge of sports betting decisions, the NCAA advocated for federal regulation. It also didn’t allow college championship games to be held in states with legal sports gambling laws.

Despite ruling the case to New Jersey, the NCAA continued to advocate for federal regulation.

“Our highest priorities in any conversation about sports wagering are maintaining the integrity of competition and student-athlete well-being,” Organization president Mark Emmert said.

“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,” Emmert added.

Barely a month afterward, the NCAA reversed its stance and made a statement supporting states to regulate sports betting. For the first time, the Athletic Association announced it would allow states with legal gambling laws to hold college championships.

Corruption in College Football

Once called amateur sports, college games are now a multi-billion industry. But here lies one problem. The players that help schools, the NCAA and states earn millions in revenue each year aren’t paid. This is a massive problem that could threaten to break the integrity of college sports countrywide.

In fact, reports about corruption in college sports date back to the 1980s and the 1990s. Back then, athletes got paid a few thousands of dollars to fix games. Fast forward to this decade, and college football and basketball players are linked to millions of dollars in bribes to lose games.

Last April, a government informant revealed to a judge he had evidence linking prominent companies briberies given to college players in Northwestern, North Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, and Pittsburgh.

In the case, an upcoming agent named Christian Dawkins was the defendant. Together with a football coach a shoe-company consultant, they had been accused of bribing coaches and college basketball players in some states.

Who can bet on College Sports?

With states having rules and regulations governing sports betting, you can bet on college sports in multiple jurisdictions. But as we mentioned earlier on, there are restrictions regarding what you can wager on in local NCAA programs.

In some states, you can bet on in-state sports competitions, albeit on specific wagers. In some places, you can only place parlays while in other cities, single bets are allowed. Still, some states don’t accept in-state College betting of any kind.

But now that online sports betting is legal in some states, it may be challenging for the NCAA to enforce its strict anti-gambling laws. Players could place wagers through their friends or by using pseudo accounts. Besides, there are very attractive and user-friendly odds comparison websites, like oddspedia for example. Those online platforms provide players with constant live score updates and statistics for thousands of sport games. The easy access to best betting prices in real time could be very tempting for the NCAA Athletes. Anyway, the NCAA will continue to fight hard to maintain sports integrity in college sports.

To Conclude

College athletes wager on sports throughout the country. The NCAA acknowledges this and prohibits their actions. Still, the Athletic Association rarely takes stun action against students caught breaking the rules.

The NCAA’s harshest penalty for students found gambling is a one-year ban from sports. But with agents and companies bribing players hundreds of thousands to lose games, the Athletic Association may have to tighten its punishments or take more measures to improve the integrity of college sports.