|Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress that would outlaw all betting on amateur athletics. The Student Athlete Protection Act, if passed, would close a loophole in Nevada state law that allows gambling on all high school, college and Olympic sports. |
Legislators led by Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Rep. Tom Osborne, R- Nev., introduced the bill yesterday after meeting with more than 20 National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I coaches, administrators and presidents who testified to the necessity of such a law.
Lou Holtz, Notre Dame football coach and current coach at University of South Carolina, favours the law. 'People have come up to me and said, 'Coach, you had a great year, you went 10-2.' I said, 'I didn't go 10-2,' but they said, 'Yes, you did against the point spread.' I've been cheered after a loss because I beat the spread.'
Kind said the bill would not waltz through Congress. 'We're fighting the gaming interests in Las Vegas and Atlantic City who obviously want to keep it legal.'
This year's NCAA men's basketball tournament was preceded by an eruption of scandal. In March, University of Georgia basketball players admitted coaches offered money and arranged for high grades. A week earlier, St. Bonaventure University's president resigned and the basketball coach was reassigned after the NCAA determined a player had been accepted without a high school diploma.
A 1992 federal law bans gambling on amateur athletics in 46 states, and only Nevada permits gambling on college sports. People from around the world bet billions of dollars on amateur athletics through bookies.
Osborne: 'By continuing to allow Nevada sports books and the gambling industry to usurp billions of dollars from fans, players and families across the U.S., we are supporting an industry that is considered illegal in every state in the nation.'