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Survey: 25% of College Athletes Gamble on Games

November 09, 1996|From Associated Press

Two months before the Boston College gambling investigation, NCAA-funded research found 25% of athletes responding to a survey admitted to betting on athletic events and a fraction said they had taken money from gamblers to control their performances in games.

The research conducted by Frank Cullen and Edward Latessa, criminal justice professors at the University of Cincinnati, used a random sample of 2,000 male Division I basketball and football players and received replies from 648.

"Fully one-fourth [25.5%] of the respondents reported that they had gambled on sporting events," the researchers wrote. "These results suggest that student-athletes have a proclivity for illegal gambling, which could present opportunities for more serious problems.

"Although relatively infrequent, almost 4% admitted gambling on events in which they played, and three respondents said they received money from a gambler for not playing well in a game."

In the Boston College case, 13 football players were suspended for gambling, including two who bet against their own school.

There were other troubling findings in the survey in which two-thirds of student-athletes responding said they had broken NCAA rules.

Of those responding, 66% said they had broken minor NCAA rules, such as receiving free meals.

There were only a few reports of serious violations such as free cars, substantial financial allocations and academic fraud.

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