How the NCAA is Addressing Athlete Safety in the Age of Sports Gambling

As March Madness takes center stage, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is placing its focus on sports betting and how to best protect those involved. On March 19, the NCAA announced its Draw the Line Campaign, which prioritizes student-athlete education on the effects of sports betting and addresses the issues associated with problem gambling. The NCAA has actively sought to address sports betting since losing the 2018 Supreme Court case Murphy v. NCAA, where the Court found that federal laws could not restrict a state from authorizing sports betting due to state sovereignty. This ruling led to 38 states and the District of Columbia legalizing some form of sports gambling, 29 of which allow online betting. The Draw the Line campaign comes after an announcement last fall that the NCAA would begin advocating for updated sports betting laws in state legislatures to protect student-athletes and the integrity of NCAA competition.

How the Latest NIL Rulings Impact the NCAA

The Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) landscape in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been constantly changing since its enactment in June of 2021. Over the last month, the NCAA has faced legal defeats involving the rights of student-athletes under the policies it has established. A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director determined that members of the Dartmouth College men’s basketball team were employees, thereby granting them the right to unionize. Also, most recently, a Tennessee court issued a preliminary injunction barring the NCAA from enforcing its NIL rules against compensation for recruits. This injunction was issued as a part of a federal lawsuit alleging that the rules violate antitrust laws. Each of these rulings carries distinct implications for the NCAA’s future and the organization’s ongoing efforts to lobby Congress for federal regulation.

Regulating AI Used to Predict and Prevent Sports Injuries: A Crucial Need

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in sports could revolutionize the way athletic injuries are predicted and managed. Notably, a variety of AI companies have developed software that forecasts potential injuries, possibly prolonging athletes’ careers. This technology analyzes data about the biomechanics of players, their frequency of play or training, and past injuries to identify patterns, find potential causes, and predict future injuries. There is immense value in preventing injuries in athletics for players, teams, and fans alike. It would therefore make sense that everyone is eager to utilize the findings of AI, but without regulation this could cause more harm than good.

Protecting the Sport or Protecting the Person: Why NIL Deals for College Athletes Need Federal Regulation

Mayhem has ensued in the world of college sports since July 1, 2021, when college athletes could first benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) based on an interim policy passed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Chaos emerged after a number of states adopted policies regarding athlete’s name, image, and likeness. This forced the NCAA to pass a policy allowing such deals across the board, while stating in their release that the organization would continue to work with Congress to create a solution on the national level. However, two years later, no such solution has come to fruition, and in that time, states that have a large investment in the success of their college sports have been able to create or edit their legislation to benefit the performance of their teams.

PGA Tour and LIV Golf Partnership: A Swing and a Miss?

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have agreed to a partnership, ending the rivalry that has divided golf for the past year. While golf fans may be rejoicing, it may be a premature celebration as the Justice Department has already been investigating the golf industry for anticompetitive behavior. The announcement of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf partnership has raised further concerns about monopolistic practices within the golf industry.