New Mexico coach sacked after match

UNLV vs. New Mexico game under investigation for suspicious betting activities

2023-12-11
Reading time 1:27 min

An investigation is underway by gaming commissions in several states into last month's football game between the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and the University of New Mexico, due to suspicious and/or abnormal betting activities against the Lobos, according to media reports.

UNLV started as a 10.5-point favorite days ahead of the match, but this advantage rose to 16.5 points on game day. The Rebels scored on their first five possessions, leading to a convincing 56-14 victory.

Hours before the game's start on November 4, an alert was sent by an independent and licensed integrity monitor regarding suspicious betting on the game, after a major U.S. betting operator first identified the abnormal betting activity, reports Action Network

The situation has drawn the attention of the NCAA, the Mountain West, and New Mexico authorities, who are now aware of the ongoing investigations, as per the report. Among the concerns raised by sports betting operators is the number of new accounts opened specifically to bet on the UNLV vs. New Mexico game, an uncommon practice that raises suspicions.

Estimates indicate that between $25 and $28 billion were legally wagered on college sports in the U.S. last year. According to an industry source, a lesser-known game typically attracts between $10,000 to $20,000 in bets. The significant amount of money wagered on a single team in this specific case triggered red flags of potential irregularities.

A week after the game, Eddie Nuñez, New Mexico's athletic director, was notified by U.S. Integrity about the suspicious betting activity, as per Action Network. After discussions with the UNM football team, Nuñez stated there were no indications of irregularities.

Nuñez fired New Mexico head coach Danny Gonzales after the season. According to the director, the decision to dismiss Gonzales was based on the team's performance, and Nuñez assured that it was not related to the investigations.

The incident raises questions about the integrity of college sports and the influence of betting. In a recently held forum, Erick Harper, UNLV's athletic director, discussed measures to protect schools from sports betting scandals. He highlighted how public perception can be skewed in situations of player errors, leading to speculations about result manipulation and the consequent impacts on social media and athletes' mental health.

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