NCAA and New Jersey Sports Betting

After the NCAA moved seven different championship events out of North Carolina due to the state's discriminatory views on the LGBTQ community back in September of 2016, they have recently decided to put those events back in North Carolina. They agreed to return and there will now be over 600 NCAA events in NC from fall of this year all the way to spring 2022.

Their excuse behind this was because North Carolina state legislature did technically repeal their controversial laws in March but put an effective prohibition on their anti-discrimination ordinances. Apparently, this was enough of a change to the NCAA because they have now given them 23 potential championships which include multiple NCAA men’s basketball tournament games.

The reason this is even more significant is because New Jersey has been campaigning to get more significant sporting events in their state but the NCAA hasn’t given them what they want because they are currently going through a legal battle to try and implement legal sports gambling in New Jersey. So apparently North Carolina prefers discrimination over sports gambling, and while that may be an underhanded way of explaining it, it’s hard to argue that point isn’t it?

History of NCAA vs. New Jersey

Not only are they currently locked in a legal battle at the moment but in 2012, the NCAA moved a total of nine events out of the state after the state’s first attempt to legalize sports gambling. They moved the NCAA men’s tournament games that had formerly been suggested to be in Newark, New Jersey to New York City and Syracuse, New York. The year before, the Newark’s Prudential Center hosted three games and spent $6 million on the arena with the notion that they would regularly be hosting games.

Mark Lewis, the executive vice president of the NCAA, explained the stance by saying “Maintaining the integrity of sports and protecting student-athlete well-being are at the bedrock of the NCAA’s mission and are reflected in our policies prohibiting the hosting of our championships in states that provide for single-game sports wagering” He would go on to say that the NCAA’s views are “Consistent with our policies and beliefs, the law in New Jersey requires that we no longer host championships in the state.”

Former Press Secretary for the Governor of New Jersey Michael Drewniak fired back at these comments saying “The NCAA wants to penalize New Jersey for responsibly legalizing what occurs illegally every day in every state and often with the participation of organized crime…but the NCAA looks the other way for that? Ludicrous and hypocritical.”

New Jersey Sports Betting Update

State legislation is fighting to legalize New Jersey sports betting and are awaiting a decision by the U.S. solicitor general who will then pass that decision on to the Supreme Court. They are being opposed by most professional sports leagues as well as the NCAA as they are arguing that sports betting legalization is against the federal law of PASPA, which prohibits sports betting in the United States.

The decision is set to be made by summer of 2017 and while it is expected that the Supreme Court will rule against New Jersey, there is still hope for the cause. If they do accept the case, the proceedings could start as soon as early 2018 and the ruling could be the following summer.

United States Senators from New Jersey Robert Menendez and Cory Booker wrote a letter to the NCAA at the end of April explaining that “We are not asking that the NCAA change its prohibition on sports wagering for student-athletes, coaches, or administrators…however, we are requesting that the NCAA board of directors reevaluate its position on sports wagering and site selection for championship play.”

The NCAA is now receiving harsh criticism for their stance and probably deservedly so. Only time will tell if they will change any viewso on USA online sportsbooks that they have but it seems like if they want to improve their reputation, then changing their standards for cities that host championship games should be the move.