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Madness resides within the NCAA

Mar 18, 2003 5:50 AM

With all the money and publicity gambling offers the NCAA, that governing body continues to work with Capitol Hill in a "Jihad" to eliminate regulated wagering on amateur athletics.

The gaming world lives for March Madness, especially here in Las Vegas. The sports books explode during the NCAA Tournament, whether it’s through bracket seminars or parlays. Gambling does far more good than harm for college football and basketball, yet Las Vegas is always the scapegoat for all that’s wrong with the NCAA.

Heck, if running an organization were a basketball game, the NCAA would have fouled out early.

ITEM: Villanova suspends 12 players for allegedly making unauthorized telephone calls. The Wildcats played their final regular season game against Pittsburgh with just seven eligible players.

ITEM: Georgia was bounced from the SEC and NCAA tournaments after an internal investigation showed three players taking a phony class taught by the son of suspended head coach Jim Harrick.

ITEM: The Atlantic 10 stripped St. Bonaventure of six league victories and barred the Bonnies from postseason play for using an illegal player. The team voted to boycott the final two games, resulting in the resignation of the school president and possible ouster from the league.

ITEM: Fresno State was disqualified from the Western Athletic Conference tournament amid allegations of academic fraud. The Bulldogs were 20-6 overall and 13-3 in the WAC, probably seeing an NCAA bid washed away.

ITEM: Former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson turned himself in at the Leon County Jail in Tallahassee on a felony grand theft charge stemming from several bounced checks and a misdemeanor gambling charge.

All despicable acts occurring within the past two weeks that in some way is bound to place the blame on sports betting in general, and Las Vegas in particular.

It’s all a bunch of garbage but, in this politically correct world, appearance matters more than fact. The hardcore NCAA and Washington politicians blame gambling for every fault in amateur athletics. What a bunch of hooey. Before these bastions of society dare to wash away sports gambling, they should check their own laundry.

It stinks.

A dose of reality wouldn’t hurt. Think of all the money generated to publicize college sports through gaming done the right way, not by local bookmakers hanging around the corner or on college campuses like Florida State looking for saps like McPherson to hook their teeth into.

Heaven forbid some of those Villanova phone calls were made to a bookie. Vegas gets blamed when there is a points scandal 2,500 miles away at Boston College, but school administrators look the other way when grades and test results are altered.

Instead on knocking researchers for putting out lines and stats on games, the NCAA should use that intellectual excellence to create a valid method of choosing the top 64 teams in basketball or developing football playoffs.

The ATS system far outweighs RPI in accuracy. But to anti-gaming factions, ATS stands for "against the sportsbooks."

Well guys, we’re not going away. Book that!