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NCAA President calls for ban on college prop bets

With a sports gambling reckoning on the horizon, NCAA president Charlie Baker called for a ban on college prop bets Wednesday morning.

Prop bets — short for proposition bets — are related to a player’s individual performance. For instance, a wager on how many points a player scores in a game is considered a prop bet.

“Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity of competition and leading to student-athletes and professional athletes getting harassed,” Baker said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets,” Baker continued.

“This week will be contacting officials across the country in states that still allow these bets and ask them to join Ohio, Vermont, Maryland and many others and remove college prop bets from all betting markets. The NCAA is drawing the line on sports betting to protect student-athletes and to protect the integrity of the game – issues across the country these last several days show there is more work to be done.”

Baker’s proposal would only affect college sports, not professional sports.

Baker’s statements come after a series of high-profile gambling-related incidents in both national and local sports.

RELATED: UAB opponent attracts suspicious gambling activity

NBA player Jontay Porter is currently under investigation due to irregular betting patterns surrounding his games, while MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani is caught in the middle of a complex scandal that could have resounding effects on the sport’s most famous player.

Former Alabama basketball head coach Anthony Grant, now at Dayton, delivered an impassioned speech after a January 2023 game where his players were allegedly verbally abused by gamblers. His pleas caused Ohio to ban prop bets on college games, as Baker alluded to in his statement.

“When we have people that make it about themselves and attack kids because of their own agenda, it sickens me. They have families. They don’t deserve that. Mental health is real,” said Grant.

Last April, Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired after being found guilty of “knowingly gave information to an individual he knew to be betting on an Alabama baseball game.”

“It has become inculturated,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said of gambling after the Bohannon news broke. “I think you can go back to some of my comments since then and I warned about the inculturation of gambling and people will behave differently. And that is what we’re seeing.”

“I do think from an integrity standpoint within the game, to make sure that our student athletes, our coaches and our staff understand that there has to be a separation there. It’s critical,” added Alabama AD Greg Byrne.

Earlier this month, a UAB men’s basketball game was pulled off sportsbooks after their opponent, the Temple Owls, attracted suspicious gambling activity.

Charles Vaughan is a Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News.

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