To coincide with sports betting season

NCAA rolls out Draw the Line campaign to tackle sports betting harm among student-athletes

Reading time 1:45 min

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has taken a proactive stance against the rising tide of sports betting among student-athletes with the launch of 'Draw the Line', a comprehensive educational initiative that seeks to raise awareness about the perils of gambling-related harm.

Timed to coincide with the kickoff of the 2024 Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, which traditionally sees a surge in betting activity across the United States, Draw the Line aims to leverage social media platforms to disseminate information on the risks associated with problem gambling.

NCAA member schools and conferences will also gain access to a toolkit and supplemental resources to support the campaign's objectives.

The NCAA's move comes amid a backdrop of the increasing prevalence of sports betting, now legalized in over 30 states, and statistics indicating that more than half of college-age students have engaged in sports wagering within the past year.

Alarmingly, research conducted by the NCAA revealed that 67% of 18- to 22-year-olds on college campuses have participated in sports betting activities, despite the legal age requirement of 21 in regulated states.

Of particular concern for the NCAA is the vulnerability of student-athletes to exploitation and the lack of adequate safeguards in some jurisdictions. In response, the NCAA has been actively advocating for legislative reforms aimed at shielding student-athletes from harassment or coercion, mitigating the adverse effects of problem gambling, and upholding the integrity of collegiate sports competitions.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, NCAA President Charlie Baker remarked: “Sports betting is everywhere, especially on college campuses, so it’s critical student-athletes get the real story about how it can impact them and their ability to play."

We know some bettors are harassing student-athletes and officials. That’s why we are advocating for policy changes at the state level and launching monitoring tools around championships to refer serious threats to law enforcement. The NCAA is doing more than ever to protect the integrity of the game and arm student-athletes with the truth about sports betting.”

The 'Draw the Line' campaign represents the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by the NCAA to address the complex issues surrounding sports betting. Last October, the organization introduced its inaugural sports wagering e-learning module, designed to equip student-athletes with essential knowledge on the risks associated with gambling, NCAA regulations, and strategies to combat social media harassment.

Developed in collaboration with current and former college athletes, as well as campus leaders, the interactive module serves as a crucial component of the NCAA's ongoing efforts to safeguard the well-being and integrity of collegiate sports in the face of evolving gambling trends.

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