Collegiate sports gambling is a national problem and at Cal, we are particularly sensitive to this issue. NCAA rules do not permit student-athletes or Intercollegiate Athletics staff members to place bets legally or illegally on professional or collegiate sporting events. This would include participating in any sports gambling activity that involves placing a bet in any casino, through a bookmaker ("bookie"), a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling. Further, soliciting or accepting a bet on any intercollegiate competition for any item (e.g., cash, clothing, dinner) that has tangible value would violate the NCAA rule. It is also a violation of federal law to affect, or attempt to affect, the outcome of a collegiate contest. Additionally, it is not legal for anyone (student-athlete, athletics staff member, booster, etc.) to provide information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities to be used to bet on the outcome of a contest.
A violation of the NCAA rule on gambling on a professional or collegiate sporting event would have the following sanctions for student-athletes. If it was determined that a student-athlete solicits or accepts a bet that involves a professional or collegiate sporting event, the student-athlete will be ineligible for one full year and will be charged with the loss of one season of eligibility. If it was determined that a student-athlete solicits or accepts a bet on a collegiate sporting event that involves the University of California, or engages in activities designed to influence the outcome of a contest (i.e., "point shaving"), the student-athlete will permanently lose all remaining eligibility in all sports.
If it was determined that an intercollegiate athletics staff member solicits or accepts a bet that involves a professional or collegiate sporting event, then the consequences could be the loss of their job or disciplinary action by the NCAA that may include a suspension from working in collegiate athletics for a set number of years.
The following is the NCAA's position on gambling:
"The NCAA opposes all forms of legal and illegal sports wagering. Sports wagering has the potential to undermine the integrity of sports contest and jeopardizes the welfare of student-athletes and the intercollegiate athletics community. Sports wagering demeans the competition and competitors alike by a message that is contrary to the purposes and meaning of 'sport.' Sports competition should be appreciated for the inherent benefits related to participation of student-athletes, coaches, and institutions in fair contests, not the amount of money wagered on the outcome of the competition."
The Compliance Services Office at Cal takes the time to educate all student-athletes and athletics staff members as to the rules regarding gambling. We explain that activities, including such things as NCAA basketball tournament bracket pools and even fantasy leagues that have a monetary pay out, are considered gambling by the NCAA. We also remind student-athletes not to provide information to anyone asking about the health status of a student-athlete. Whether a student-athlete is injured, sick, or even mentally distracted by a family crisis or the breakup of a relationship, is valuable information to an individual involved in organized gambling.
The University of California Athletic Department asks its boosters to set an example and not gamble on any collegiate or professional athletics contest.