• Some have questioned whether NIL can cause college athletes to bet on sports illegally.
  • There was a betting scandal in 1994 with the Arizona State basketball team.

LAS VEGAS – As NIL is still a work in progress for college athletes, there have been some concerns raised about whether or not it will cause college athletes to become involved in sports betting scandals.

Currently, the NCAA does not allow any athletes to bet on any sports regardless of if they’re playing the sport or not.

With some NIL deals reaching over $1 million, it leaves some athletes with more flexible income to risk.

There has already been an instance with a college athlete and his NIL deal where money got the best of him. Miami Hurricanes guard, Isaiah Wong, had threatened to transfer out of the program if his NIL compensation was not raised. While this does not relate to sports betting, it does show the affect that money can have on college athletes.

Arizona State Point-Shaving Scandal

Way before the NIL deal was even in place, in the 1994 college basketball season, the Arizona State University basketball team dealt with a point-shaving scandal. Point guard for the Sun Devils at the time, Stevin Smith, also known as “Hedake,” got caught up with a betting scandal after he was $10,000 in debt caused by gambling.

Smith’s bookie at the time had offered him a way to get out of his gambling debt by fixing two games where he would be paid $20,000 per game to do so. What fixing games means is making sure the team either covers or misses the point spread.

In conclusion, while NIL deals are great as they allow college athletes to make much-deserved income on their names, the NCAA should have restrictions on what sponsors these athletes are allowed to have. Potential sponsors should have to be interviewed by NCAA officials before being able to represent athletes to avoid any suspicious activity.

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