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Betting policy hasn’t changed

Dear editor,

With a new academic year upon us and the start of football season just begun, we are united across our campuses and with the leadership of our state university system on how best to respond to legalized betting on collegiate sports.

Our highest priority is to safeguard the well-being of our student-athletes and the integrity of intercollegiate competition. The U.S. Supreme Court changed the landscape last spring when it allowed each state to enact its own laws around legalized sports betting. Since then, our athletics departments have conferred with the NCAA and worked with our respective staffs, coaches, student-athletes, student families, and those who support our athletics programs to ensure that everyone understands the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling for NCAA member institutions like ours.

While betting on collegiate sports is now legal in the United States, the NCAA’s position on the issue has not changed. The NCAA strictly prohibits sports betting by student-athletes, staff members of an athletics department, and non-athletics department employees who have responsibilities within or over athletics.

In this spirit, we also want our larger sports community to recognize that sports betting by those close to student-athletes and athletics programs can put the university or athletes at risk of violating NCAA rules.

As NCAA member institutions, we keep student-athlete health and safety, compliance, and integrity at the forefront.

Thank you for standing with us. Your continued support helps all of our student-athletes compete at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics.

Sincerely,

Ross Bjork, vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, University of Mississippi

John Cohen, director of athletics, Mississippi State University

Jon Gilbert, director of athletics, University of Southern Mississippi