The National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA for its acronym is finally giving a green light to betting partnerships between conferences and schools on one side and gambling companies on the other. The topic was discussed on Wednesday during a Division I Interpretations Committee and the result is that schools and conferences can freely enter partnerships with sports gambling companies pertaining to the distribution of data and stats.
Collegiate Organizations to Start Benefiting
This is only provided that the information that is being distributed is also available in the public domain. What this means is that all schools and conferences will be able to start banking on their most valuable asset – big data, and sell it to bidders who will be keen to have access to the direct source of the information in order to optimize their matches and fixtures, and provide sports betting fans with better options for college sports.
The NCAA was previously opposed to the move, arguing that it would undermine the integrity of the sport, something that is difficult to prove, especially in the context of a thriving sports gambling industry, which has made it possible for sports leagues and teams to benefit from similar arrangements. The most recent decision comes after the Mid-American Conference sought direct permission from the NCAA to enter such partnerships earlier this year.
Now that NCAA has condoned partnership of this nature, it seems that MAC and other conferences, and schools, will have the opportunity to boost their profit in a manner similar to what the NBA and the NFL are doing. Big Ten and SEC conferences are in a particularly fortunate position to benefit from selling their data, as their games are known to attract huge viewership along with a good betting handle, although exact numbers are not really easy to pinpoint.
Sports Betting Has a Place in Collegiate Sports
A good chunk of collegiate betting is expected to go down on offshore and unregulated markets. The go-ahead by the NCAA is not entirely surprising. Back in 2020, the organization made a concentrated effort to eliminate a paragraph from its code that explicitly prohibited any partnerships between sports betting and data companies, and the NCAA and its members.
However, there has been a lot of moment on this front. Many schools, including Maryland, LSU, and Colorado have started teaming up with sports betting brands. Colorado struck a deal with PointsBet, which rakes in $1.62 million annually and will extend for at least the full duration of the five-year contract. Colleges are finding the money provided by sports betting companies to be an important addition and a way to move their programs forward, to the benefit of the schools and athletes.