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NCAA FEELS THE HEAT BEFORE TOURNAMENT TIME OVER GAMBLING
Published March 14, 2000
NCAA exec Bill Saum and American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf appeared on CBS's "The Early Show" with Bryant Gumbel this morning and discussed the NCAA-supported legislation to make it illegal to bet on college sporting events in NV. Saum said that one reason the NCAA supports the bill is that the organization does not "want adults betting on young people." Gumbel responded, "I'm laughing a little bit because you're saying you don't want adults betting on young people, yet the NCAA makes it money off these young people." Gumbel then said the NCAA's TV deal with CBS is "driven in great part by interest in [the] games because people are betting on them." But Saum said, "I don't think so. There's no study that proves that at all. ... I think your ratings would be just as high [if people didn't bet on the games]. In fact, we would invite the gamblers to quit watching." Fahrenkopf called Saum's argument "ridiculous." To Gumbel, he said, "Right now, on [CBS'] Web site, there's a sweepstakes where people can place their bets on what's going to happen in the ... tournament and you win prizes and you only have to be 18 years of age. Under the existing law, ... the NCAA has the right to go out and seek an injunction against CBS to stop you from doing that. So, where's the mixed message coming from?" Fahrenkopf, asked by Gumbel if he is participating in an NCAA tourney pool: "I always am. ... I'm sure there's one here at CBS" (CBS, 3/14). In Chicago, Ron Rapoport criticizes the NCAA for "cracking down" on Tournament pools on the Web, while "at the same time" charging $39.99 to purchase the "2000 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket Board" on its official Web site. Rapoport: "The board is advertised as suitable for the men's and women's tournament, 'erasable so you can use it next year' and -- get this -- 'great for home and office.' Now, why would anyone want one for the office?" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/14). HERE'S A POOL PARTY: Sandbox.com runs a full-page ad in USA TODAY's Sports section promoting its NCAA men's tournament pool offering $10M to whoever picks all 63 games correctly. The ad reads: "Two Ways To See How Many Friends You Have: 1) Die 2) Win $10,000,000" (THE DAILY).