NCAA Division I - Breakout
Gambling - A Scary Reality on Our Campuses
(Monday, June 15, 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.)
Good morning. As a follow up to Dick Schultz, certainly our topic today is one that we all know on our campuses and it's not something we like to talk about, but it's a reality. In the recent publication of The Chronicle of Higher Education, it was quoted by an executive of the Compulsive Gambling Center and a research treatment facility, that gambling is rampant on college campuses. Because of athletes' competitive nature, they are more exposed and even more vulnerable to gambling than any of the other students on campus. That's why we, when we were developing the program for this Convention, felt this is a subject we needed to have some experts come in with hands-on experience and share with us some of their experiences.
Today's first Breakout Session, "Gambling - A Scary Reality on Our Campuses," is timely and, certainly, poignant. Our panel, as I say, are some people who have had some hands-on experience. Those things that we would like to close the door on, but we cannot, because as athletics administrators, the door is always open. Not just for students, but as Dick Schultz said, "Many, many challenges."
This morning, I'd like to introduce each of the panelists as they come up and let them tell you a little bit about themselves before they get into their remarks. The first person to speak is Ned Fowler. Those of you who think back into the 80s, remember Tulane University and that Ned was the head basketball coach at that time. He has some things he would like to tell us about and where he sees things that can help us to deal with on our campus.
Thank you Fred. It's certainly an honor to be here today to discuss a subject which is not one you really relish doing very often. It's good to be a part of this distinguished panel and perhaps we can share some information that will be of tremendous help to you. I would applaud NACDA for addressing this issue at this national Convention. It is certainly something that is extremely important and something that you should be aware of and take tremendous measures to prevent something like point shaving or illegal gambling on your college campus.
There are just a few points I would like to bring out in my brief time. Presently, I'm retired from basketball coaching after 27 years. I'm vice president of sports management with a company called Jay David Group Companies out of Texas. We do athletics insurance and are looking to do a lot of speaking on this particular subject, hopefully, throughout the country.
To begin with, one of the problems we have is that gambling is so popular in our society. We live in a society where all types of gambling is extremely popular, not only to adults, but to young adults, to college students. That's one of the problems we have with this is because of it's popularity.
Also, it can happen at any school. Do not think that it will not happen at your university. Looking back on my experience at Tulane, it never crossed my mind about point shaving or anything like that. We never talked about it, never thought about it, because it never entered my mind. I don't think there was any coach that could know his players better than I knew them. We played a different style of basketball. I felt like I was on top of everything. I want you to know from personal experience, it can happen at your school and, unfortunately, it may have already.
Another point to mention is that it is virtually impossible to detect. As I say, in my situation, the style of ball we played, extremely difficult low scorers, shoot a high percentage, make your free throws, don't turn the ball over, play tremendous defense, that's how we able to win in the Metro. So, I knew that situation very well. However, as I already mentioned, I had no idea. How do you know when a young man misses a shot, slips down on defense, misses a rebound, has a turnover, that it's being done on purpose? It's virtually impossible to detect.
It can have a devastating effect on the careers of people involved. It has a devastating effect on those not involved. It affects coaches of the team that had nothing to do with it. It affects administrators, other players on the team. It's something that is so widely brought out in the media; it seems to never be forgotten. A lot of you with a few miles on you can probably go back and recall a number of schools who were tampered with back in those days. So, it can have a very bad rippling effect on all parts of the program. I'd like to mention that it's not always instigated by the Mafia or some type of organized crime. It may be just college students. That's what it was at Tulane. Some fraternity kids got an idea. In this day in time, kids are very wise to the world. It can happen just through college kids. It causes permanent damage to the university. Once it occurs, because of the widespread media, it goes on an on and it certainly affects the fans and the support that you have.
The last thing I would mention is that the only prevention is education, constant education. Looking back on my situation, I wished that I had discuss this with my team almost at least once or twice a week, but it never entered my mind. Education is the way to go on this. If you have an expert or someone who has been through it, will have a lasting effect also.
Thank you very much. I hope my comments can be of help to you.
Thank you Ned. I think that really gives us a chance to lead into some people who have had today's hands-on experience in relationship to this particular subject. Our next panelist, a very good friend of mine, is the former athletics director at Tulane, BC and is presently at the University of Houston. He has some experiences and some suggestions to you from his perspective on this subject. Chet Gladchuk.
Thank you Fred. It's interesting because we all should do a little soul searching once in awhile in our profession to take a step back and realize how vulnerable we all are. When you think about Boston College where this happened recently, who would think those 13 altar boys would go out and do something as devastating to them and to the university? But it happens, no matter who you are or where you're coming from or what your moral values are. As Ned mentioned a moment ago, it does happen. We are all very vulnerable.
I'd like to give you a quick overview of how it can lead into the problem it was for us at Boston College. We did everything we could there. We were actually ahead of the curve. With 800 student-athletes, we actually had four full-time compliance officers. I'm sure there aren't many institutions in the NCAA that actually carry four full-time compliance officers.
At BC, we tried to make sure everyone was aware of the rules. We had education sessions, we brought in the FBI and this was just prior to everything happening within the prior 12 months. We had the district attorney come in and speak to all of our student-athletes. We had NFL videos, the NBA came in with their security people and we had compliance meetings. On the NCAA film, it states very clearly that gambling is an issue and Thou Shalt Not Gamble.
We also do an institutional forum in addition to the NCAA forum. We discussed the issues on gambling at this forum. So, it was everywhere from forums to presentations to films. Even in the coaches' contracts, it was stated that he or she would be attentive to the problems with the gambling issues, the agents, etc.
When we look at trying to administer what we confront everyday, those 700 pages of legislation and bylaws and interpretations that deal with compliance, there's one box on all of the forms that doesn't exist. It's part of what's ingrained or should be ingrained in all of us and that's integrity. Is there a box on your form that asks do you have integrity? Check yes. Check no. It's not there, but it's implied and you do everything you possibly can within the rules and regulations. You've got to count on your people, at some point, to make certain they subscribe to what is the fiber of the spirit of what we all represent.
At BC, none of us were naive to think it wasn't going on over the course of years in its own little subtle ways, but over a four-week period, it exploded. It became a fad, essentially a fad. It started with the fact that there was a bookie that was actually a student who moved in, just by chance, with a group of student-athletes. In our particular dormitory setting, there were complexes with eight students. A student bookie was assigned through the housing office and moved in. He became a catalyst for some of the activities.
Although it involved 14 football players, we're not naive enough to think it didn't probably stretch well beyond that because there were actually eight bookies that surfaced through the course of the investigations. Boston College, although as public as it became, there were others that were more so involved. You've heard about the point shaving. I think the University of Miami had a problem with 16 athletes at one point in baseball. Although we surfaced at BC with our 14 football players, right down the street, a small school had a quarterback who was essentially the most successful quarterback in the history of their institution running a bookmaking ring for most of the universities and colleges in the Boston area. It's amazing how the tentacles of what this is all about spread throughout the community and to the other college campuses.
Timing is everything in life, because when the BC hit, it just happened to be after Pittsburgh. We had an open date so the media could generate some momentum into an open weekend. We played Notre Dame that following weekend. When Notre Dame comes to town, NBC comes to town in full course and they're looking for anything they can sink their teeth into. So, the BC situation really became a national focal point and it's become a catalyst of our concerns now with the attention that has been given this issue.
Ned mentioned it. It is really devastating because not only did it affect national media, from USA Today to NBC, but the most devastating part, in my mind, was to sit there with the families of our student-athletes and know that it was back in full view of our home town newspapers. These young guys who left their home towns as heroes, all of a sudden, were tainted in a way that affected them on campus, off campus and in their roots which made it, again, most difficult for them to deal with. To put them into the same text as mass murderers was ridiculous in the newspapers and the way they spread it out. Unfortunately, we know there's some hypocrisy in that because the newspapers run the line and talk about it on the talk shows about who's hot and who's not, but they're the first to step up when you've got a problem on your particular campus. They take you to the cleaners.
As Ned mentioned, everyone bets. Bill Saum said the other day that 25 percent of your student-athletes bet and four percent will bet on a game they played in. It becomes more than a betting issue, it's a moral issue. When you're dealing with athletes betting against their own team, how do you get the word to those people on what's right, what's wrong and, again, integrity.
We take the high road. It's the only way to fly. There's only one road to take. I'm sure that everyone in this room would subscribe to the same course of action that we took at Boston College. We reported it to the president. It became an immediate, widespread investigation. From the president to the district attorney, came the state police, campus police, the NCAA and our compliance department. Again, once you open that door to an investigation, it is a full-fledged overview of everything that you're doing in your department.
The problems I mentioned a moment ago are the student bookies. I don't think, to be honest with you, that any of our student-athletes would have run downtown with $25 to bet on the Patriot game. I just don't think they'd do that. Heck, it's tough enough to get them to go to class. Once those student bookies infiltrate, you've got a problem. They're in the dorms; it's convenient. On a Saturday afternoon, a kid will say, put me in for $25. The next thing you know, there's a whirlwind going on there. There's credit. Everywhere you look, there's credit. They don't even make you come up with the cash. They simply log it with the convenience of a computer, which is tied to organized crime. It's that easy once those bookmakers are in the equation.
They don't mess around, either. We had a student bookmaker over the Christmas holiday that was brought to New York and beaten up because he wasn't making his payments on the bets he was taking. This was a student bookie. It's all tied in. By the time he came back from the holiday break, he was almost healed. He told us he'd been in a car accident and no one knew what really happened. He was actually shuffled to New York City to face the "man," so to speak, to answer why things on his college campus weren't working the way they should be. They put themselves in a hole. That's the toughest and emotional part. When a young man says to put him in for $25, put me in for $50 or $100, he loses and loses, it compounds and the next thing you know, he's trying to sell his car or his computer that he needs for academic work.
Recommendations are something I would be glad to speak to you about based on our experiences that were six months of very difficult times. In six minutes, it's tough to convey them. Here are some things I would do and things that we did and still do. At least three times a year in your program, have a student-athlete meeting. Bring them together and remind them about agents and gambling. Put it right between their eyes as a constant reminder. I mentioned a moment ago that we have forums and meetings, but you have to do this on a regular basis. You can't just do it at the beginning of the year. Point to some devastating cases. If you want to really put together a portfolio, have your compliance officer go to the Internet and gather the headlines of the Boston College situation. Put together five, six or seven pages of the media scrutiny and the impact it had on those students and what it did to the institution. If you want to send a signal, distribute that to your student-athletes. It will begin to sink in.
Ask your president to institute a university policy. Make certain you tell him you're on the edge and it can happen. Take a look at the negative media and this can happen in a moment's notice despite every effort that you put forward. Ask him to institute this policy when the resident assistants meet with the students at the beginning of the year. Talk about gambling and have other students step up and disclose where bookmakers might be. Show the devastation it can bring.
Make sure you have a policy on this subject. We found that only 10 institutions actually had a policy. There was a contradiction university-wide in terms of student-athletes asked to do "x," and the student body isn't asked to do "x," therefore, you have students betting all over the place. No problem. The institution doesn't sanction it, but you have the student-athletes with handcuffs on. Make it a university-wide policy and put it in your admissions brochures, faculty and staff handbooks and make certain it's in the student handbooks also.
Finally, the key to it all is that anyone on your campus that is involved in student bookmaking, illegal wagering of any degree, who is constituted as a bookie, needs to be expelled. Expel is the deterrent and it has to be in the rules. If someone knows that if they get caught making book on their campus, they're going to be immediately expelled and lose their education, pack their bags and go home, it deters them. They don't know who's coming to make bets. Now your student development officer can send in, on occasion, someone to test the waters and see if something is going on. But, there is that constant risk if student bookies knows the rules and knows that he's out within six days after they are found involved in the activity.
This is a tough business and we all have a responsibility and integrity certainly plays a role, but do the best you can. Thank you.
Thanks very much Chet. Now, it's my pleasure to introduce Betsy Mosher, senior associate athletics director at Arizona State University. Prior to her tenure here at ASU, she was at Northwestern. Betsy Mosher.
Thank you Fred. I used to think that going from Northwestern to Arizona State, I carried back-to-back Rose Bowls. Unfortunately, I found that I also carried back-to-back gambling incidents. With that, I think I'm in a unique, although very sympathetic situation with Chet, as having lived through it. I've not only lived through the beginning of a case, but have also been at an institution, a very public disclosure situation here in the last year, of the largest monetarily significant sports bribery case in the history of college athletics. As Ned said, it's not something we relish talking about, but for all too long we haven't talked about it. We want to shed any light on you folks out there to help you avoid this type of situation. We can't get it to go away. I just think we might be able to manage it a little better.
With that, the Northwestern case and the Arizona State cases were significantly different, at least in the genesis of the cases. At Northwestern, there was a great environment for compliance. That extended from boosters, to coaches, to trainers and to student-athletes to some extent. The Northwestern case got tipped when, at a sideline at a football game, a student-athlete made the comment, "Oh, that happened because he has gambling debts." A trainer heard this. Normally, you would say it's no big deal. But, it struck him and he passed it up to the coach and the coach passed it up to the student-athletes and to the director of athletics. At the same time, one of our boosters was approached by one of our athletes in another sport saying that he needed money. Our students, similar to Boston College, have compliance meetings all of the time. They all knew they couldn't go to boosters for money. They give the excuses that he was behind in his rent, this and that; he really needed the money. That booster went to the head of our faculty board for athletics who told the athletics director.
Now, we're all saying this doesn't make a lot of sense. We really needed to ask some questions. At that point, the institution itself talked to the students. This went to the president's office and the president hired a private investigator. Bang! We're looking into this and we need to know if it's here. If it's none of this, we'll talk to these two and move them out. We were going to find out if it's really here and turn it over.
As that proceeded, it's interesting how you use the NCAA rules for students. Phone records become very key in gambling cases as does the assistance in an investigation, the ethical conduct. We had other students cooperating by giving us the phone records because, under the NCAA rules, that's what they were supposed to do. It didn't take subpoenas. Everybody wanted to get to the bottom of what was happening. It moved through our system and eventually we found that authorities needed to be called in to look at this further.
There was acknowledgment from our student-athletes that they had gambled, but they never said they gambled on their own contests. Never would they do that, but they had gambled on others. Violation. We followed the NCAA process, sat students out of games and did everything by the book. We gave the information to the authorities in Chicago. The FBI stepped in and conducted interviews. They found a student bookie in our midst. At that point, he was actually going to school on our dollar.
This case is ongoing, but at some point at Northwestern, we thought we pretty much brought it to closure. In our minds, our students had bet on other games and not on their own. The FBI kept the information and kept pursuing it. If you get into this network, you find that one thing trips another. That case sat idle for awhile. The institution had done the right thing and thought it was solved. Recently, as you may have heard, there are alleged point shaving implications from that set of gambling situations. So, at an institution where we thought everything was fine, we did the right things, the system seemed to work, the environment worked, I don't think anybody knew how far it actually went. Without the cooperation of the local authorities and the FBI, we never would have gone to the point shaving part because institutions don't have the capabilities to do that.
I would like to impress upon you to cooperate and give information to your local authorities. It's not always an FBI case. They don't have time to run around and do all of the sports cases, but your local authorities will handle and share information with you about this issue. It's the only way to create an environment that's a little safer.
On the other hand, with the Arizona State case, I happened to take my position a few months before the major allegation of point shaving in four contests back in 1993. The things I learned with that case were that the information came from the outside. The Vegas bookies called the conference and the institution and said that there are a lot of bets on this game and it's not normal. It was the outside that started to be concerned. The internal investigation was a few questions and answers but not really overly extensive. As I started to do the education with the staff, I loved that place. I found there were a lot of people early on when we started talking about the gambling issue, people told me they knew something was up. One person pulled someone aside and said, AI don't know what you're up to, butů" But, that person never went anywhere with the information. Another person came to me and said, "Oh yes, I had a student come in with a brand new car." I asked him where he got it and he told me his friends helped him get it. I told him he had good friends. That person who was an employee never went anywhere with this information. There was no place to funnel in any information.
Needless to say, the case devastated the school. The present student-athletes are in a gambling school even though they are far removed from the problem. Some people say that gambling is a victimless crime. The list of people gambling affects goes on and on and on. We're only talking about the collegiate portion. The underworld portion, the organized crime portion, are all of the people our kids are getting involved with. There are bodies found and eventually, we're going to find a student-athlete's body.
I would encourage you to, not only educate your student-athletes, but educate your entire staff. I mean custodial staff, secretarial staff, anybody to notice the change of lifestyles of students. At Arizona State, the main person involved in that case was the Pac-10 Medal of Honor winner that year. You're not looking for somebody hiding in the corners. These are bright kids. They're risk takers. They never think they're going to lose. A little awareness among staff, coaches, trainers, media services, folks. Who's hanging around the locker rooms after the games? Does this kid have a lot of cash? Is that his background? Coaches are trying to coach the game and somebody is throwing the ball away or missing a fowl shot. In their minds, they're not losing the game, they're just changing the margin. We can talk about teams that are winning or we can talk about Northwestern, which was having an awful season, but there is still a line on the game that means somebody bet on it. This means it can have monetary implications, which means somebody wanted to affect the outcome.
On our own campuses, and I think Chet touched on this, check your Code of Conduct. I think it's accurate to say that student bookies can't be thrown out of school. At Northwestern, it was pretty clear-cut. That person left school quickly. In talking with schools across the country, it's often the student bookie issue that is not addressed as an issue or as a problem. It is. On our campus, we can identify quite a few areas, so the idea is that the institution has to take a strong stand.
Secondly, departments have to make a strong statement. You can't hide from this. If it's there, stand up and address it and that sends a message to your kids.
Third, try not to do anything to help the tout line people. Why do we want to aid the gambling people? We did a check at Northwestern for people who called for information on our teams at the beginning of the season. We traced a lot of those numbers and they went right back to the 900 betting lines. We were giving them information to help them create the lines. We've gotten smarter about who we're giving information to.
In that same area, your trainers, student managers, your equipment room people who have information on game day should not be giving information out to just anybody who calls. I encourage you to not help the tout lines. Lastly, do not send mixed messages. Gambling is a social issue. It really is. We need to be consistent in letting our student-athletes know that it doesn't belong in the collegiate game. To tell you the truth, can we get rid of it? No. It's odorless, you can't see it, but I think we can manage it a little bit better. I hope I've helped in some way. Thank you.
Bill Saum was named the NCAA agent and gambling representative in September 1996. I think his message has been heard by many of us in this room, but I'd like to welcome him back to begin with us. Bill Saum.
Thanks Fred, and thanks to NACDA for the opportunity to visit about this topic today. I'll keep my comments brief so we can move on to the rest of Fred's program. It's important to recognize what occurred here today. Something occurred here today that we've talked about from the national standpoint for some six to 12 months. It's okay to talk about gambling. Certainly for Chet, Ned and Betsy, to sit before their peers, it's certainly not a career building move. It took all three of these individuals a long time to get to the level of comfort ability. I would like to thank Chet, Lynn, Ned and Kevin and Rick Taylor and Betsy Mosher for being courageous enough to stand before their peers and the media and the national spotlight and address this issue. That's what we all need to do. It's okay to talk about this gambling issue. It's not fun. It's not glamorous and it's not sexy, but it's okay because it is a problem on our campus.
I want to make sure that we want to understand what we heard today. Each of the cases that was presented to you today had a common thread, student bookies, outside of athletics. What does that mean? That means we need to reach out to our presidents, our campus security folks, our dean of students, our housing folks and our fraternity and sorority councils. You need to do that at your community level. We are doing that at the national level from the standpoint of national conventions and national leadership. Last Friday, we were at the Big Ten Campus Security Seminar. So, we're trying to address it from the national standpoint, but we need your help on the community level.
We need to address this issue with our athletes. As you know, there are many different ways to do it. From that standpoint, I want to make sure each of you in this room has the following information to bring back to campus. On June 18, we will send a packet of information to your sports information directors with a slide of the "Don't Bet On It" poster. We're asking SIDs to put that in the game programs, the media guides or other informational booster newsletters. Please recognize that it's on your campus. The poster will be sent again to your campus in August. The tape "Gambling with your Life" that we distributed to the conference offices last year will be distributed to each institution in the month of July. Men's basketball will have a new video out in October. Hopefully, you'll know whether your head basketball coach received one last February. They will receive another one on October 1. As Betsy mentioned, twice a year we send you a memorandum listing the tout services, the names of the companies and individuals that we should not be sharing information with.
There are victims. That's the hump you need to get over. Not you in this room, because I think you clearly understand the issue, but it's the word victim and victimless that we need to talk about with our presidents and dean of students and campus security. There are victims. There are victims in the cases that you heard here today and there are victims from our students and student-athletes wagering in regards to getting themselves into positions where they're jammed up and in over their heads. There are many examples we can provide to you in regards to this being a crime with victims.
It's important to sell you on this. For some of us, it's challenging, but we are all in this together. We, from the standpoint of athletics administrators, coaches and student-athletes and we, including the national office. We are there to try to provide you with information to raise awareness. We are there to help you manage situations that Boston College, Northwestern, Tulane and Arizona State had to go through. Obviously, there are ramifications. Student-athletes can be ruled ineligible. Athletics personnel could have employment problems if they're involved. There's no history that shows you if you attack a gambling issue, then in comes an enforcement case. History shows that is not what will happen unless, of course, someone knew on that campus. We are in this together to try to prohibit and slow down one of the most critical issues that is facing us in intercollegiate athletics.
Finally, I also believe that one of the things that have helped all institutions are the captains. At Northwestern, it was a student manager, a student trainer and an athlete. At Arizona State, it was simply cooperation. But, it's lines of communication. Athletes to coaches, coaches to administrators, administrators to the national office. We have to be comfortable enough to keep the lines of communication open and have trust. If we can ever do anything for your institution from our office, please feel free to contact us. It's really important to thank the panelists today to stand before you today and speak about their issues. I appreciate your time.
Thanks Bill. How many times have we, as athletics administrators, heard about communication and education? It goes on and on. We are very fortunate, as Bill said, to have some people step forward this morning and tell us about their hands-on experience in an area that none of us like to talk about, none of us would like to see, but certainly, we all have to face reality. I'm pleased they were able to join us this morning.
It truly is a campus cancer. The research that goes on today and the people like Bill and his staff and the institutions that have gone through this terrible experience, obviously, look to communication and to education. I wonder if there's anything you, Ned or Betsy would like to say as we close down our panel today as our final thought today.
I would like to commend Bill Saum. It's very important that this be mentioned. We are all involved in investigations, issues and secondaries, but there is no one who provided more leadership through the situation than Bill Saum. It's interesting to note that, although it may be implied that the NCAA comes storming down the track, Bill actually allowed the institutions to conduct its reviews and investigation. He never came to the institution, yet was always in tune on a daily basis with what we were doing. It's important to mention that the cooperation out of his office is supportive in every dimension.
Therefore, if you have the smallest concern, don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call the man, because again, he'll give you some insights and some advice in a way that will be nothing but constructive in helping you resolve your problem.
Thank you Chet. Tomorrow, as I mentioned before we started our panel, there is another breakout session on gambling and Bill will be there. I hope all of you will join us at that time. I do have an announcement before we wrap up today's panel. It talks about the Spouses' Hospitality Suite, which is located on the Voyager Lawn at the north end of the hotel by the Voyager Restaurant. It is sponsored by Outback Trophy Suites. They have installed a portable luxury suite. Please tell your spouses to stop in for a visit.
I appreciate you and the panel joining us and we'll begin our next session in a couple of minutes. Thank you very much.