SBD/26/Collegiate Sports

ESPN REPORT REVEALS CBS LINK TO ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATION

          CBS "is an investor in a company that makes money from
     a popular online gambling operation based in the Caribbean,"
     according to Tom Farrey in an ESPN.com exclusive report. 
     FL-based SportsLine USA, which produces the CBS SportsLine
     Web site, owns the Web address to Sportsbook.com, and
     SportsLine USA President Michael Levy "confirmed" that the
     company leases that address to the offshore sports book for
     a fixed fee.  NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey said that he
     became aware of the year-old relationship last month and has
     "expressed concern about the relationship" to CBS, which
     owns 18% of SportsLine USA.  Dempsey: "At this point,
     there's not much we can use other than persuasion.  Maybe in
     the next go-round in our (television) negotiations we will
     be able to be a little stronger on that issue."  Farrey
     writes that it is "unclear" whether CBS knew about
     SportsLine USA's lease with Sportsbook.com.  CBS had no
     comment, and Levy said he "can't remember" if he told the
     network about this relationship.  In addition to the lease
     agreement, Sportsbook.com also uses some SportsLine USA
     personnel and equipment to manage the site.  Levy added that
     despite numerous offers to buy the Web address, he has "no
     plans to get rid of" it (ESPN.com, 3/26).  In a
     "SportsCenter" Cover Story, Tom Farrey reported that ESPN
     owns SportsTicker, which sells news updates to Las Vegas
     oddsmaker Jim Feist. But Farrey noted that SportsTicker
     receives no money from offshore books (ESPN, 3/25).
          LINE DANCING: An estimated $4.5B in legal and illegal
     bets have been placed during the first two weeks of this
     year's NCAA Tournament, an amount which now surpasses the
     Super Bowl (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/26).                    
            
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