How would Lou
Holtz like it if I flew to South Carolina to lecture his football team about how
to operate a ball-control offense.
On the way, I
would stop in Tennessee and tell Memphis basketball coach John Calipari how to
Then on my way
home, I would visit Bo Schembechler in Michigan and tell him the right way to
run the football.
were among the many college coaches and officials who gathered in Washington two
weeks ago to reapply pressure on Congress to outlaw college wagering in Nevada.
Like these guys
have any meaningful insights into Nevada’s legal sports gaming industry. Some
of their comments were so naÃ¯ve, ignorant and plain hypocritical as to be
Penn State basketball coach Jerry Dunn said wagering on college sports “takes
away from the very innocence of our game.”
Innocence? What decade are you living in Jerry?
Osborne, R-Neb., and former Nebraska head football coach, said players face
added pressure because of the point spread.
Want to know
what pressure is, it’s Notre Dame going into its final regular season game
last year knowing a victory meant about $12 million in bowl revenue compared to
nothing if they lost and didn’t go to a bowl game.
enormous pressure and financial strain on college athletes, and it has nothing
to do with covering a point spread.
The NCAA keeps
these guys in economic bondage, while reaping the financial rewards from their
sweat and blood.
And you know
what NCAA? Your recent ”˜dog and pony show’ just may have backfired. If your
stunt of parading some 20 coaches around Washington didn’t outright backfire,
it sure didn’t produce the intended results of jumpstarting the college
betting ban bill.
politicians are beginning to comprehend that 98 percent of the money wagered on
sports comes from outside Nevada.
that without Nevada, there would be no regulatory system in place to sniff out
potential trouble areas such as the Arizona State basketball point-shaving
realizing the nauseating hypocrisy of the NCAA.
At the same
time the coaches were in Washington, a report was released by the Knight
Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics outlining a “disgraceful
environment” in college sports, not to mention low graduation rates among
football and basketball players.
This isn’t to
say underage betting and addictive gambling aren’t problems. They are serious
problems for some, and they can get worse since betting is way up because of the
But the way to
attack this is by higher education instituting anti-gambling programs, teaching
people the evils of excessive gambling and increasing penalties for illegal ÂÃ‚Âbookmaking.
This is the
bill that makes sense, and it’s exactly the one introduced in the House by
Nevada representatives Shelley Berkley and Jim Gibbons.
already has 98 co-sponsors. The bill to ban college wagering in Nevada in the
House has 48 co-sponsors. At present, the House Republican leadership has not
scheduled a hearing on the betting ban bill.
looking up in the Senate either for those like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who
want to prohibit college betting in Nevada.
Harry Reid is the most optimistic he’s been since the NCAA began their
misguided crusade three years ago.
coaches’ parade of ignorance on Washington, Reid was so confident he told The
Associated Press, “The bill won’t pass out of Congress. We’ll kill it. I
am confident. I wasn’t confident last year, but I am now. It has lost
are reasons to feel this way. Reid is now the second most powerful person in the
Senate. He controls what issues come on the floor.
There are two
main other factors, too.
“I think the
real issue here is gaming money,” said Jon Ralston, the top political analyst
in the state. “I think the gaming money is going to buy them out of this.
the House leadership purchased. That’s the most important thing.
“Even if it
were to get out of the Senate because John McCain pushed it by attaching it to
another bill and forcing a floor vote, I think it’s dead in the House.”
No doubt huge
money contributions and Nevada’s powerful gaming lobby have played significant
roles in turning things around. The all-out efforts of Nevada’s politicians
have aided tremendously, too.
But what Nevada
also has had on its side all along is another key factor -being right.
Nevada’s little betting industry wouldn’t make the slightest difference in
college wagering around the world. It would just be window dressing.
It would make
the situation far worse instead.
last, people outside the state are beginning to understand that.
What a relief.