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Volume 26 No. 60
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NCAA's Emmert Talks Impact Of Sports Betting, Concerns On Esports

Emmert voiced concern about esports for a number of reasons, including the violence in the games
Photo: getty images

NCAA President Mark Emmert "sounded alarms" on the potential impact of sports betting on college sports, along with how esports "should be handled by schools, and stressed a need for additional strides toward diversity at the coaching and administrative levels," according to Tim Reynolds of the AP. Speaking at the NCAA's annual convention in Orlando on Thursday, Emmert said, "We have to lead with our values. That’s how we need to make decisions, whether it’s wagering, legal environments, esports, anything else that we do.” Reynolds noted Emmert offered few, if any, "specifics on changes that should be made on the issues he addressed." He voiced "concern about esports for a number of reasons, airing those worries a day after Marquette announced that it would become the first major-conference school to offer esports as a varsity team." One of the challenges of esports could be "having it adhere to Title IX compliance rules." Emmert said that 95% of esports players "are male." He added, "We know that some of the content is really violent. We don’t particularly embrace games where the objective is to blow your opponent’s head off." Emmert: "We may have an opportunity in front of us to apply our values to esports" (AP, 1/24). 16W Marketing co-Founder & Partner Steve Rosner addressed legalized sports betting's impact on college athletics, saying, "My concern is, anytime it’s legal, it will get to the athletes and there’ll be some sort of point-shaving." He added, "I’m afraid we’re going to have some sort of point-shaving scandal in the world of sports, and it will be credited towards the legalization of sports betting" (ROI-NJ.com, 1/24). Sports Business Journal's Michael Smith noted Emmert identified sports wagering and diversity as "two of the biggest challenges facing college athletics." He also seemed "pretty pleased with where college basketball reform is headed" (TWITTER.com, 1/24).