NCAA on the warpath?

December 04, 2001 8:41 AM
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It’s legal now to bet on Nevada college teams, but for how long?

“I don’t want to comment on whether they (NCAA) can pull it off, but I believe the subject will resurface,” said John Avello, race and sports director at Bally’s-Paris Las Vegas. “I don’t wish to speculate. I’ll just say it’s a continuous fight and we’ll have to wait and see.”

Avello said there has not been much of an interest in betting UNLV in college basketball, but a complete ban on college betting would be devastating to the industry.

“Right now, UNLV is doing anything to schedule a 20-win season,” Avello said. “In (Jerry) Tarkanian’s day, UNLV would be laying 30 at home and 14 or 15 on the road every game. That won’t create betting interest. Now, if the number is too short, there will be action.”

Avello painted a sad picture of what would happen if the NCAA were able to gain federal legislation banning all collegiate sports wagering.

“It would be pretty devastating,” he said. “If you walked into my book on a Saturday afternoon and were not a horse player, you’d be walking out. We’ll be using our forces to make sure this scenario doesn’t occur.