The NCAA believes that legal betting on college games is antithetical to the purity of its student athletes, yet allows colleges to accept advertising money from casinos. Hypocrisy? You be the judge. From USA Today:
From the $591 million in TV and marketing revenue generated this season to the masses awaiting Saturdays semifinals and Mondays championship game at Detroits Ford Field, the mens tournament and its Final Four have grown into a mega-event on the order of footballs Super Bowl. This year, the NCAA altered its Final Four seating plan to accommodate tens of thousands more ticket buyers, swelling the capacity to a record 70,000-plus and bumping gate receipts by $7 million from the 40,000- to 50,000-seat setups of the past.
Its an apt backdrop for a sometimes contentious debate within the NCAA and its more than 300 Division I schools: How far should the NCAA and its members go to boost revenue at a time when the nations fiscal crisis is weighing on college athletics?
Many schools, with the blessing of NCAA President Myles Brand, are courting an increasingly varied array of sponsors and advertisers and creating some discomfort in the process.
Several schools and conferences allow advertising and promotions by casinos in their arenas or game programs, a practice the NCAA once frowned upon because of gamblings potential threat to the integrity of its sports.
College athletes, in the name of amateurism, are strictly forbidden from cashing in on their renown beyond the scholarships they receive.
But today — as part of arrangements that can bring millions of dollars to their schools — theyre featured in game footage that increasingly shows up on the Internet alongside sponsors logos and products. And in basketball and football video games, the computer-generated likenesses of real-life, still-in-school stars are unmistakable.
College basketball has become a big business, obviously. And there’s clearly plenty of betting on it. If you allow one association with gambling, such as advertising, you’re already giving the message that gambling is legitimate. So if it’s OK for followers of your program who are watching at home to shoot craps with your sponsor, what’s wrong about them putting $20 on your team to beat the spread?