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NCAA Announces Softer Penalties for Sports Betting Ahead of Ruling on Iowa College Scandals

Written by: Michael Savio
Published June 30, 2023
6 min read
NCAA Penalties Iowa College Scandals

The NCAA surprised many by announcing that they are softening penalties for players caught participating in sports betting. The NCAA’s decision was a surprise, especially given Congress’s recent concerns over the rise in betting scandals. It also comes right as the NFL is prepared to hand down severe punishments to several players being investigated. 

The announcement comes as the NCAA prepares to hand down punishments for over 40 University of Iowa and Iowa State University athletes. The investigations linked over 100 people to some form of sports betting scandal, making it one of the largest investigations in the history of the NCAA. We don’t know the details or exactly what the punishments will look like, but we do know that many players will likely maintain their college eligibility.

The New NCAA Sports Betting Penalties

While many penalties have been softened, that is not true for players caught wagering on games involving their school. NCAA athletes who bet on a game from any sport involving their school will lose all college eligibility, banning them from playing any NCAA sport again. This also applies to athletes caught providing inside information to people involved in sports betting, which addresses a big concern from Congress.

Athletes caught wagering on their sport that doesn’t involve their school will receive a softer punishment. They will lose eligibility for up to 50% of one season and be required to attend classes on sports betting education. 

For athletes that are betting on pro sports or other non-NCAA events will be punished based on the amount wagered. The penalties range from missing 10% of their season ($200 or less) to 30% (Over $800). Those athletes must attend sports betting education classes regardless of the amount wagered.

What This Means for the Future

In the immediate future, we will likely see these punishments applied to the cases from Iowa and Iowa State. While we don’t know the details of each case, it is believed that many will benefit from the NCAA’s softer punishments. However, there have been reports that at least one investigation at the University of Iowa could also have a criminal component. The school has acknowledged this when reporting the violations to the NCAA and is fully cooperating with the investigation. 

"We are closely monitoring the situation and have confidence that University administrators at each institution will take all necessary steps to ensure ongoing compliance," the state Board of Regents said in a statement regarding the investigation.

The NCAA and Congress will monitor the effect of these punishments closely as they search for a way to curb the uptick in sports betting scandals.

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Michael Savio

477 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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