1 in 3 prominent athletes threatened by bettors

  • David Purdum, ESPN

    • Staff WriterMay 17, 2024, 05:14 PM ET Close Signed up with ESPN in 2014
    • Reporter covering gambling market because 2008

One in three high-profile athletes get violent messages from individuals with a “betting interest,” and more than 540 men’s and women’s college basketball players got similar abuse, including death risks, during champion competitions in March, the NCAA stated in a release Friday.The NCAA looked at athletes taking part in sports that bring in the most wagering interest– football and basketball, among others– and discovered that online abuse is extensive. Represent, an expert system business and NCAA partner, covered 1,000 Department I males’s and ladies’s college basketball players, 64 groups, more than 200 coaches and 120 NCAA game authorities throughout March Madness. The analysis, which is part of an NCAA initiative targeted at combating online abuse and harassment, found 4,000 posts or comments that were confirmed to be abusive or threatening throughout March Madness.The NCAA said the information revealed women’s basketball players got roughly 3 times more general threats than guys’s players and that 15-25%of abuse directed at players, coaches and authorities who are associated with the most popular college sports was connected to betting.Editor’s Picks

1 Associated”People who pester athletes, amateur or professional, over a sports bet ought to not be tolerated,” Joe Maloney, senior vice president of tactical communications for the American Gaming Association, informed ESPN in a declaration. “Notably, the legal sports wagering market is supplying the openness crucial to talk about options to lowering player harassment for the first time– a chance illegal market actors do not supply. We look forward to continuing our discussion with the NCAA, expert leagues, and other stakeholders on the universal shared objective of minimizing professional athlete harassment.”

In March, Armando Bacot, a forward on the North Carolina males’s basketball team, told press reporters he received dozens of direct messages on social media criticizing him for his efficiency in the Tar Heels’ win over Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA competition.

“It’s awful,” Bacot said. “Even at the last game, I guess I didn’t get enough rebounds or something. I thought I played respectable last game, but I looked at my DMs, and I got like over 100 messages from individuals telling me I sucked and stuff like that due to the fact that I didn’t get enough rebounds.”

The information launched coincides with the NCAA’s efforts to prohibit sportsbooks from offering prop betting on college players. Prop betting includes wagers such as the over/under on a player’s points or rebounds. Ohio, Louisiana, Maryland and Vermont have passed recent legislation prohibiting prop betting on college players, and more states are thinking about the issue.Joe Brennan, a longtime internet video gaming specialist and now executive director for online sportsbook Prime Sports, believes the NCAA is taking a look at the problem “from the incorrect end of the telescope.”

“This is a social media problem most importantly,” Brennan stated. “The NCAA requiring the banning of college player props is a distraction from the root causes and most likely services. Abusive speech towards groups and players is an unfortunate reality in competitive sports. … It’s unfortunate that sports betting has now likewise end up being another topic in this, however it certainly didn’t begin it.”

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