The proliferation of sports gambling throughout the United States has made its way to college campuses where it’s beginning to involve college athletes, hindering their eligibility to continue to compete. And Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart sounds quite concerned about it.
During a recent press conference, Kirby Smart expressed his concern with how easy it is to get caught up in problem gambling.
“I don’t know that they completely understand it. What’s happening now is it’s becoming much more prevalent and they have to — what you just said. I didn’t even understand the app. Because I don’t gamble, I don’t bet, I don’t have those apps. When you go start researching it and we were researching it really in the last year, it’s like these kids, they have it on — there’s like Chinese baseball games and stuff that people are gambling on. It’s like, what?” Smart said according to On3. “They’re betting on horse racing in another country. It’s literally crazy how easy it is and the access they have to it. And then the punishment, you have to ask yourself, ‘Oh my god, this guy could lose his entire eligibility forever for betting on a horse race in another country.’”
Smart thinks that unfortunately, it might take a strong example to get athletes to take the concerns seriously.
“I can’t turn on the TV now without seeing something. And there’s a lot of debate out there about what’s right and what’s wrong, but the NCAA rule is pretty harsh for gambling relative to some other things. And it’s pretty obvious why,” Smart said. “Because they don’t want that to infiltrate. There’s been a lot of states, including ours, it’s been a great debate, whether to allow that to come into your state. And it’s more about revenue for the state. It’s more about protection for your schools. But these kids can do this regardless of what state. It’s easy access. When I turn on the TV for a sporting event, I see it everywhere. So we try our best to educate the players and sometimes it takes somebody have a pitfall to learn from their mistakes.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how this situation develops in the coming years.