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Betting, Beer drinking and the NCAA

Guest SirJohn

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Guest SirJohn

I just do not see the reasoning behind this article or why Notyre Dame was specificly mentioned? Moan all you want about College betting the NCAA fowns on it but just how can the NCAA control it? Do you think the Marage or Sands in Veghas to stop it. I think the federal government controls gambling.


Beer commercials? "Gimmie a break" That's all I need this butt head here pushing milk commercials during a football game. It seems to me a vast majority of viewers are old enough and beer drinkers. Besides I don't change my beer brand because I see a Coors or Bud ad. I like what I drink and stick with it.


The NCAA has complained about alcohol at games. Various schools are cracking down. If you read some ND Frat blogs like I do or student Obhserver they are moaning over the tailgaing changes. You can't even throw marshmellos (A former ND thing) without getting ejected from the game. Throwing anything is now banned.


I would have focused on the 1.1 College kids that take money while playing.


Pasadina star news


Bettors see Rosy future

Rose Bowl excites gamblers

By Tim Dahlberg Associated Press




The people who run college sports and the people who allow you to bet on them both have a lot to look forward to in the Rose Bowl.

The prospect of a true national championship game excites the big conferences and the NCAA. But it's the Vegas sports books and Internet gambling sites that are really salivating about the matchup between No. 1 USC and No. 2 Texas.


It's little wonder why.


More money will change hands on this game than any college game ever. So much money will be bet on the game that, when all the millions are totaled up, it could approach Super Bowl levels.


That's all good for the casinos, which never have a problem taking money from gamblers. And it's nice for the ardent fans of both USC and Texas, who might like a little more action riding on the game than just bragging rights.


But it will likely cause much consternation and hand'-'wringing inside the NCAA, which regards sports betting as such an evil that it has gone to Congress several times to try and get betting on college sports outlawed.


The NCAA's stance may look laudable, but it is largely the byproduct of another era. It's based on perceptions that sports betting corrupts young athletes and opens the possibility to funny things happening during games.


That made some sense in the '40s and '50s when information didn't travel so quickly and college sports were true amateur events. But that's no longer the case in today's world, where everyone but the players are making money.


Think the idea of covering the point spread might influence players? How about having to win a game like Notre Dame did against Stanford to guarantee your school a $17 million payout in a BCS bowl?


Now that's pressure.


'The Notre Dame players didn't have their heads low walking off the field because they didn't cover the spread,' said Jay Kornegay, who runs the sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton. 'They were just very relieved and very excited as they should be to be in a BCS game.'


They do care about it in Las Vegas, though, where the Trojans are about a touchdown favorite to beat Texas in a game that could generate $40 million in bets locally. And they care about it at the dozens of Internet sites that now make it easy for anyone to wager with the click of a mouse.


The argument can be made that sports betting shouldn't be so handy that it can be done in the comfort of a dorm room. But the bigger question is how sports betting hurts college sports.


The NCAA tried to answer that last year when it did a survey that showed 35 percent of male athletes bet on sports in the previous year.


OK, so it showed that members of golf teams bet the most. The real


shocker, according to the NCAA, was that 1.1 percent of football players reported accepting money to play poorly.


First of all, 1.1 percent may be the number of jocks who accidentally marked the wrong answer on the survey. It's hard to imagine any football players being paid money to throw a game in a day and age where information is readily available and oddsmakers carefully monitor betting trends for misconduct.


There's simply too much risk, and not enough reward, to try anything fishy.


With that in mind, the NCAA might be better off focusing its attention on another vice. This one is not only more troubling than sports betting, but is one the organization can do something about.


Betting on sports may hurt a student's pocketbook, but alcohol can kill.


While the NCAA stakes out a pious stand on sports betting, it looks the other way when it comes to beer companies helping line the pockets of its members. Despite calls by the American Medical Association and others to ban beer advertising on televised games, the NCAA has no problem allowing the ads to be targeted toward impressionable minds.


The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit group that campaigns against beer ads, says 500,000 students suffer alcohol-related injuries every year, and some 1,400 die because of alcohol.


Meanwhile, beer companies spent $52.2 million in 2003 alone to try to convince those watching college sports to drink their brands.


'Alcohol is the biggest problem on college campuses and yet they accept money for helping to promote beer drinking,' said George Hacker, the center's director for alcohol policies. 'There are a lot of people very uncomfortable with that.'


The NCAA has so far resisted growing pressure from some of its member institutions to drop beer ads during March Madness. And it stands mute while the ads run during college bowl games.


There's a reason for that, and it's a big one. The NCAA has a $6 billion contract with CBS that it is not going to risk by asking the network to eliminate beer ads.


Going after sports betting is easy. The schools don't have a piece of that action.


Eliminating the hypocrisy in the NCAA will be a lot tougher.




Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at

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