NCAA warns of bans for DFS-playing athletes

NCAA warns of bans for DFS-playing athletes

Thursday, September 24, 2015 Totally Gaming
The college sports body will not distinguish between "legal or illegal" gaming

US college sports organisation NCAA said that it will ban athletes that take part in fantasy sports games.

NCAA executive VP of regulatory affairs, Oliver Luck, told a meeting of college athletic directors on Tuesday that student-athletes who choose to participate alongside 57 million other Americans in daily fantasy sport (DFS) games risk losing their eligibility for a year.

Following the comments, NCAA spokesperson Emily James told website Sporting News that regulations that cover sports betting also apply to real-money fantasy games.

“Sports wagering threatens both the integrity of the game and the wellbeing of student-athletes. NCAA members schools have defined sports wagering as putting something at risk – such as an entry fee – with the opportunity to win something in return, which includes fantasy league games,” James said.

“Because of this, student-athletes, coaches, administrators and national office staff may not participate in sports wagering, including fantasy league games with a paid entry fee.”

Existing NCAA rules make it clear that athletes are not allowed to take part in wagering activities, whether they are “legal or illegal.”

A statement on the NCAA website said: “The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering, which has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contests and jeopardises the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community.”

Fantasy games are not considered illegal in the US as they are protected by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) as games of skill rather than chance. However, opponents such as Congressman Frank Pallone, who has called for a congressional hearing into the sector, contend that fantasy league players are merely betting on the performance of a player rather than the outcome of a game.

While NHL ice hockey and MLB baseball both have an official fantasy sports partner in DraftKings, both leagues ban their own athletes from taking part in fantasy games. 

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