SBD/October 16, 2012/Colleges

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  • NCAA Pulls Five Championships From New Jersey Over Adopted Gambling Regulations

    The NCAA will "relocate five championships from New Jersey after the state adopted regulations for sports wagering at racetracks and Atlantic City casinos," according to Erik Matuszewski of BLOOMBERG NEWS. NCAA rules do not allow any championship event "in a state with legal wagering that's based on single-game betting involving a point spread or money line." Sports gambling is still prohibited in New Jersey, but the state "has filed a lawsuit challenging the ban." The actions yesterday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement allows casinos and racetracks "to apply for licenses to provide sports wagering" beginning Jan. 9. The applications cost $50,000. The events being moved next year include "regionals for the Division I men's and women's swimming and diving championships in Piscataway, and early-round games for the Division I women's basketball championship in Trenton." Additionally, the Division III men's volleyball championship "will also be relocated from Hoboken, as will the 2013 Division II and III women's lacrosse championships in Montclair" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 10/16). The AP's Wayne Parry noted the Jan. 9 date is "about a month later" than the state had originally intended. State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, one of the "leading advocates of sports betting in New Jersey, voiced little concern” over the lawsuit (AP, 10/15). Meanwhile, in New Jersey, John Brennan wrote the Giants’ and Jets’ Dec. 30 regular-season finish “means that if either team plays in the wild card round, there could be no bets placed on them legally in New Jersey.” Brennan: “Of course, just because the state MIGHT issue licenses after Jan. 9 doesn’t mean they will -- or that they even will have a choice.” Brennan noted in addition to the application fee there is a “resubmission fee of $50,000 every five years” (NORTHJERSEY.com, 10/15).

    BETTING ON THE PASS LINE: In Maryland, Tim Prudente noted a committee “lobbying to expand gambling in Maryland pledged to give the Washington Redskins $450,000 on Oct. 1.” The next day, Redskins President of Business Operations Dennis Greene “praised plans for a casino to open in Prince George’s County.” Greene said that he “felt obligated to support expanded gaming in the state because it would create jobs and bolster school funding.” Greene “didn’t mention the committee, called For Maryland Jobs and Schools, had offered up nearly a half million dollars to the team.” The committee also “spent at least $15.9 million on advertising as it works to convince Maryland voters to support Question 7, which would legalize Las Vegas-style table games, such as blackjack, and permit a casino to open in Prince George’s County” (Annapolis CAPITAL GAZETTE, 10/13). Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Chris Korman reports “more than $26 million -- 7 percent of all revenue from slots in Maryland -- has been pumped into racing purses at the state's tracks over the last two years.” Leaders in the Maryland horse racing industry have been “consumed by efforts to craft a long-term plan for their sport.” Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association General Counsel Alan Foreman said that “representatives from the horsemen's association and the Maryland Jockey Club -- which owns Pimlico and Laurel -- have worked to craft a multiyear deal outlining the number of race days and how they are funded.” In recent years, the horsemen and Jockey Club Owner Frank Stronach have “dragged the negotiations well into December, feeding sentiment that the horse racing business in Maryland is unstable and leaving breeders, trainers, jockeys and owners reluctant to make a commitment to working in the state” (Baltimore SUN, 10/16).

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  • Report: NCAA Assets Exceed $500M, Endowment Fund Grows Past $260M

    The NCAA “likely has more than $500 million in net assets,” including among its unrestricted assets “an endowment fund of more than $260 million, more than double where it stood six years ago,” according to Steve Berkowitz of USA TODAY. The fund has been “designated as a quasi-endowment, which means the money is intended to be retained and invested, but unlike a permanent endowment, its principal can be spent.” The NCAA had “at least $860 million in revenue during its 2012 fiscal year.” More than "three-fourths of that revenue” came from the Division I men’s basketball tournament multimedia rights deal with CBS and Turner which "provided $666 million in 2012.” However, the association's expenses “are less clear.” NCAA Public & Media Relations Dir Erik Christianson wrote in an e-mail that expenses “likely exceeded $800 million, with $503 million being distributed to Division I schools and conferences, an all-time high.” Berkowitz notes the NCAA's financial performance “comes against the backdrop of an ongoing and now-litigious battle over the benefits college athletes ... should receive for playing.” The records show that “another $18.8 million came from the NCAA's contract with ESPN for the rights to the Division I women's basketball tournament and other NCAA championships.” Christianson said that those contracts "accounted for around 80% of the association's revenue.” In fiscal ‘12, the NCAA “planned to distribute $467 million.” But because of its financial performance in ‘11, NCAA Finance & Operations Managing Dir Keith Martin said that the organization was “able to send another $36 million” to its Division I members. Berkowitz notes the NCAA's endowment “could be an important cushion in the face of a federal anti-trust lawsuit that was filed in May 2009 and now is set for trial in 2014” (USA TODAY, 10/16).

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