NCAA Division I Breakout Session
Gambling - A Look from Outside Our Campuses
(Tuesday, June 16, 11:00 - 11:45 a.m.)
Let me have your attention and we'll get started. Good morning, I'm Chuck Bell, the director of athletics at San Jose State University. At this time, I'd like to welcome you to our NCAA Division I Breakout Session on "Gambling, A Look from Outside Our Campuses."
This is a subject that only a short while ago, we thought would only interest those in the Pac-10, that only happened at Arizona State, in the Big Ten at Northwestern, which we discussed yesterday. We're all coming to the realization that wherever there's a contest to be played, there's wagering on our campuses. It's not just the Big Ten or the SEC or Pac-10, it's the Big Sky, it's the Sun Belt, Colonial Conference, or any independent in the nation and on practically any sport. We've taken a view as we did in our early days that drugs couldn't be in our family and that gambling can't be on our campus family.
We have an outstanding panel before you today. Ced Dempsey, president of the NCAA; Bill Saum, the NCAA's agent on gambling; Jim Brown, supervisory special agent, FBI; and Michael Franzese, former member of Organized Crime.
We'll start with Michael as an anchor and present the problem as it has existed for some time and maybe we weren't aware and then proceed through the panel. Michael Franzese, former member of the Columbo Crime Family, was directed to on-campus illegal sports wagering.
Good morning. It's probably not every day that somebody with my background is invited to address an audience such as yourself, but the fact that I'm here should indicate to you that the NCAA is taking some serious measures to prevent the spread of gambling on our campuses. Throughout my experience, I can tell you that it is a very real problem and that Organized Crime most definitely targets college campuses for their gambling operations.
I consider myself somewhat of an ounce of prevention when I go around and speak to various athletes on both the collegiate and pro level. I try to give them some insight, through my own personal experiences, what they should watch out for, what they're going to face and the probable dangers to their career if they do get involved with Organized Crime, with bookmakers and with gambling itself.
I was in New York and there were five organized crime families. My dad, in the 1960s was the under boss of the Columbo Crime Family. In 1967, he was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison. In 1970, he went off to do that sentence. I was a pre-med student at the time and decided that I was going to make a bit of a career change, got involved with some of my Dad's friends and decided that I would follow in his footsteps. In 1975, I was officially inducted into the family, made a soldier and operated that way until about 1980, when I was made a captain. From 1983 to 1985, I did various things throughout the family. I was a very active member.
In 1985, I faced a series of indictments, both federal and state, and decided to take a plea to a major racketeering case involving tax fraud. I agreed to a 10-year prison sentence, a $15 million restitution and went off to do my time. It was during that time that I decided for various reasons that I was going to try to detach myself from that life, try to walk away. I had just my wife and we decided that I was going to do my time, go out to California and get away from the family, if possible.
In 1988 or 1989, I officially made the break. A big catalyst in making that break was, some of you are familiar with, was the Norby Walters, Lloyd Bloom agents' case back then. I was, unfortunately, at the heart of that case at that time. Through a series of circumstances, that was the catalyst for me publicly coming out and leaving the family. I've been successful in doing that now for the past nine or 10 years.
I had direct experience with gambling. If you're a member of Organized Crime, you're in some way, somehow involved with gambling. I, myself, was not a bookmaker, but I had a number of people in my crew, a number of my soldiers were bookmakers, as were a lot of my associates. If you're in Organized Crime, you're, in some way, attached to gambling and bookmaking because, no matter what Organized Crime gets involved in, gambling is their major source of income. It's major business. Organized Crime people live to gamble themselves, many of them, and it's major, major business. No matter what else goes on in that life, gambling is a major part of it.
Just about every bookmaker in this country that can cover a bet is in some way connected to Organized Crime. Basically, there are three reasons for that. Number one, collection. Bookmakers, since they are an illegal operation, oftentimes have a lot of trouble collecting money from people who bet with them. They associate themselves with Organized Crime for that reason because Organized Crime can collect money. It's their job.
The second reason is the bank roll. If the bookmaker wants to be able to cover some substantial bets, he needs a bank roll. Organized Crime, normally, is that bank roll.
The third reason is because bookmakers really have no choice. Organized Crime seeks out bookmakers in any city and in any rural town, anywhere we can find them and tell them, basically, they have to be connected with us. There's really nowhere for them to run. They can't go to the police and complain that somebody's trying to make them part of an Organized Crime operation. So, with that in mind, just about any bookmaker that's worth anything and can cover a bet in this country is in some way, somehow connected to Organized Crime.
I had visited with a number of professional athletes. In 1994, about six months prior to my release from prison, I was called to the warden's office. The warden told me I had a visit from the FBI. When you're six months from going home, that's the last visit you want to have in the warden's office. But, it was a little different this time. They told me the NBA and Major League Baseball were putting together a video to help educate athletes about gambling. They asked me if I would participate. I did and they made the video, they filmed my part. When I got home, I was contacted again by the NBA and Major League Baseball and told the video came out well. They wanted me to take one step further and come and talk to the athletes on the pro level. For the last three or four years, I've been doing that. I've visited with every Major League Baseball club in their locker rooms. I've seen many of the NBA players in their locker rooms, rookie players and most of the minor league teams. I think the program has been very effective.
On a pro level today, there aren't many ways you can get a pro athlete to compromise a game. They make too much money. They don't have to, in most cases. Bookmakers now, just want to take their action because these guys are heavy gamblers.
On a college level, it's quite different. A major concern of a bookmaker or an Organized Crime person is to try to put the athlete, the student on campus, in a position where they would have to be obligated to compromise a game. That's what it's all about. An athlete gets in trouble, he starts up with a bookmaker, he gets in the hole, he owes a couple thousand dollars. The only way for him to get out is to do the bookmaker or the Organized Crime member's bidding. That happens more often than you might think.
A lot of universities in the rural areas believe that something like this couldn't touch their campus. The one thing Organized Crime has going for it is a very strong network. They network very well.
That's one of the major reasons the Mafia has thrived in this country where other Organized Crime families have not. They know how to network.
I can't tell you how many times I was sitting in a little coffee shop and another soldier or member of another family would sit back and say, "You'll never guess whom I met the other day. You'll never guess who my daughter is going out with." It happens to be a quarterback on a team from a rural university. They ask their daughter to invite him to dinner. These things happen all of the time.
I have met pro athletes, college athletes through my bankers, through business people, one in beneficial leasing. I had relatives on college campuses who introduced me to them for the purposes of gambling. Organized Crime has a big network and they reach out to areas you wouldn't think. I tell the athletes that it's not as recognizable as you might think. Today, Organized Crime figures don't all wear black shirts, white ties and pin stripe suits. They come in all shapes, all forms. I told them that during my day, if you were to meet me in a restaurant or a club, I would bet you wouldn't know who I was. You wouldn't thing I was an Organized Crime figure. I was a younger guy. I carried myself a little bit differently. But, we have a big network and we were able to get to people in a lot of different ways.
Athletes are very vulnerable. We had a lot of satellite operations on campuses that I know of throughout New York, New Jersey and Florida. There was a big Organized Crime presence in Florida. We set up these satellite bookmaking operations. Athletes got involved. We don't have a lot of time today, but when I speak to athletes, I get into a lot of specific details of my own personal experiences. It's a problem.
We need to educate these kids and let them know what to look for. One thing I do stress is, that it's not like the old days, where somebody is going to come up to an athlete and put a gun to their head and say, "Hey, you're going to shave points off of this game, or else." It doesn't happen that way. The athlete has to take the first step. Once they take that first step, they belong to us. Once they make that bet, the betting with a bookmaker, the bookmaker is committing a crime. It's illegal business. Once you get involved with a bookmaker, once you make that first bet, he knows. From that point on, you're open and you're susceptible.
Throughout the Norby Walters situation, for those of you not familiar with that, Norby was a talent agent for a lot of major music artists. Norby operated as a very successful, legitimate business person for well over 40 years. What people didn't know about Norby Walters is that he was connected with the Columbo Crime Family. He was an associate of my dad's and then mine for more than 40 years. Norby held himself in a way so that people would not know it. There was no way for these young boys on college campuses to know what Norby Walter's background was. Norby's operation was an Organized Crime run operation.
Norby came to me one day and said, "Michael, a natural extension of what we're doing is to go to the college campuses and start representing some of these athletes. They'll be easy for us to sign up the same way we sign up a lot of the artists." He had gotten together with Lloyd Bloom who had some college athlete background. He knew the ropes, so to speak. They came to me, and from a legitimate standpoint, it seemed like a good deal.
When this was brought to me, we have a process in Organized Crime, we had to put it on record with the boss of the family. I told him this is what we're going to do. He immediately said to me, "This is going to open up some real possibilities for our gambling operation." We knew if we signed up these athletes, we certainly would be able to get some of them into a compromising situation, that in turn, would be able to influence the outcome of a game and helping the gambling operation. That's what it was all about.
I tell these athletes that no matter what Norby did, no matter how he enticed you, no matter how he offered you money, how many gifts he gave you, how may limousines he provided you, if you said no to that, you'd never have a problem with a guy like Norby Walters. It's once you say yes. Once you take that first step and open that door, that's when you're in trouble. Organized Crime people will use that because they know at that point, they have you over a barrel. They know at that point, there's no place for you to run. If you tell someone what you did, you're already in trouble. Once you made that mistake, you're in trouble, they know that. I try to stress to them to say no. It's difficult, today, where gambling is so accepted.
These college kids today, to me, are an easier mark because their pro ballplayers are making all sorts of money. Those who are not going to make it to that level, are easier marks. It's easy to go to them and say they're not going to be making a million dollars next year, we don't want you to lose the game, just shave a couple of points, win by three or four and we'll put 10 grand in your
pocket. Do it two or three times and you'll have $100,000 before you leave school. That's pretty enticing.
I remember when I was doing the NBA rookies, I got a flashback. I used to do speaking to some of the inmates when I was in prison. I feel like I'm back in prison. I asked how many guys have friends or relatives in prison that you're writing to. Out of the 80 guys, probably 60 raised their hands. I spoke to them afterwards and a lot of them asked me how I walked away from that life. How do we do it? We have guys in prison talking to us, telling us they need money, they need help. We're going to lay down a couple of bets on a game, can you help us in a way. While I was in prison, I met with a lot of guys from the inner-city who had relationships with college and pro athletes. They would talk a lot about how these guys were going to help them out when they got out of prison. They talked about how they helped them financially through their prison time. These young boys have a lot of influences on them and a lot of things pulling at them. I tell them, if they're your real friends, they're not going to do anything to get you in trouble.
There were many times throughout my life in Organized Crime when I knew I was hot, I was being investigated, people were watching me and if I wanted to protect somebody, I told them to stay away from me because if they were seen with me, they would be in trouble. I let them know. So, if these are your real friends, you'll help them in another way. They'll understand. They won't do anything to interfere with your careers.
Many of them think that because they're athletes, they think if they do get involved in a problem, they'll get a break. Law enforcement won't come down hard on them. Normally, they'll see a video the NBA produced about gambling. There's a fellow in the video named Henry Hill who was at the center of the Boston College scandal in the 70s, the point shaving scandal on the basketball team. That thing blew up because Henry Hill, who was a criminal, an associate of Organized Crime, got in trouble for completely different matters. While he was being debriefed, he decided to cooperate with the government, he happened to mention there was a point-shaving scandal at Boston College. The point being, today, people love to cooperate with the government.
My theory is, today, 90 percent of the guys in prison are there because they didn't get to the government first. Today, laws are more severe, there's a lot more prison time being handed down. I've told athletes that if they get in trouble with a guy on the street, he's going to serve you up. When he gets caught, you're his ticket out.
Law enforcement is serious about ending the problem of gambling and gambling on campuses, gambling in professional sports. An athlete getting in trouble on a gambling situation means something. I firmly believe the timing of the Northwestern indictment certainly wasn't a coincidence.
I also let the athletes understand that, today, if you get involved in a gambling situation, there's a possibility, aside from blowing your career, of going to prison. There's nothing out there that's worth losing your freedom. We try to hit it home. Once again, this is a very real situation. I'm happy to be able to do my part. It's my way to give back a little bit, and hopefully, this program has been effective. We're reaching out to kids and educating them because that's what it takes. If they understand the problem they're going to get into, that's half the battle. We'll do our part and, hopefully, we'll be successful. Thank you.
Michael, how have you been able or allowed to speak on this subject and remain alive?
When I toured with Major League Baseball, we went to all 28 clubs. I told Kevin Hallinan, the head of security, that when you opened it up for questions, the first question I'm asked is how am I still alive. I want to say, I won that bet 28 times. I guess I am just about the only person I know of, I've certainly been told that, who can walk away from this life without going into the Witness Protection Program.
The major reason for that is, number one, it was a bit of luck. Circumstances happened to go my way in that many of the people I ran with throughout my life are either dead or in prison for the rest of their lives. It was a devastating time for Organized Crime back in the 80s. The Columbo family, my family, from 1989 to 1991, was involved in a major internal war. Twenty-five people were killed at the time. The fact that I never did become a witness against it, other Organized Crime figures probably had other things on their minds right now. I'm not a priority. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go back to Brooklyn to live. I live in Los Angeles. I'm cautious about what I do normally and so far, I've been successful. We'll see what happens.
Michael, in your talk, you had mentioned there were certain things you would advise the student-athletes to look out for relative to gamblers coming after them. What are some of those specifics?
People try to get close to them. They try to give them gifts, trying to get in their favor. I tell them when they go out to nightclubs, be careful who they do associate with. Watch out for women in clubs because, very often, Organized Crime people will use women to get to athletes. Drugs are something we hear about all of the time. Basically, I tell them to watch for people who are trying to do them favors, give them things for nothing. For them, it's a big deal. If somebody wants to buy them dinner, take them out on the town, it's a big deal. In the Norby Walters situation, we were flying kids all over to see concerts, giving them limousines, aside from the fact that Norby was giving them money under the table, which was a big draw.
I was surprised that just about every athlete Norby approached, at that time, was susceptible. Everyone of them took the bait. Surprised in the fact that we got everyone of them. I figured we'd get a substantial number, but I didn't think everyone of them would go for it.
Basically, they have to have their antenna up. They don't have to be paranoid. They don't have to think that there's an Organized Crime figure lurking around every post, but they have to realize that people giving them something for nothing, has to be for a reason.
Students on campus that get involved in a gambling situation are a problem. I know of a particular incident when a student on campus was gambling with a bookmaker, got himself in the hole for a couple of thousand dollars. This student went to one of the athletes and said, "I'm going to get hurt. I'm going to get killed. I can't face my family. You've got to help me out. The only way to do this is to help me in a game. I've got to be able to win this game. Help me. Shave some points. Do what you've got to do." I know for sure, that the athlete went for that.
Tell them to watch out whom they associate with.
From the other side of the street, James Brown of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He began his career as a special agent 25 years ago. Mr. Brown graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan with a Bachelors of Science Degree. Mr. Brown has investigated all violations under the FBI's jurisdiction, including kidnapping, bank robbery and domestic terrorism. For the majority of his career, he has specialized in the investigation of gambling, drugs and Organized Crime and has testified, both in the United States and in Italian courts on these matters.
Because of his extensive background in drugs and Organized Crime matters, Mr. Brown is one of 12 FBI agents selected in 1983 to participate in the FBI's Sports Presentation Program, aimed at educating college and professional athletes on the dangers of Organized Crime, gambling and drugs. He has remained committed to that effort since that time and has worked with college and professional programs as well as individual athletes.
Mr. Brown was promoted to the position of supervisory special agent in January 1996 and, currently supervises the Phoenix Divisions of Organized Crime and Drug Investigation Squad. Let's welcome James Brown.
Thank you Chuck. I think in my 25-year career as an FBI agent, I followed a lot of Organized Crime figures, but never as a speaker. As Chuck mentioned in my bio, I've been involved in speaking to athletes both at the professional and collegiate level on these topics for the past 15 years. It's something I personally believe in and I want to help as much as I can to educate the athletes on these dangers.
Everything Michael Franzese has told you is exactly what we tell the athletes. We try to put it in the perspective that there's an Organized Crime figure trying to target you, trying to recruit you for his own purposes, to make money. As Michael pointed out, that's exactly what the thinking is and that's exactly what their targets are.
Since I've been in Phoenix, every August, I get a call from Bruce Snyder, the football coach at Arizona State University. He asked me to come up and speak to his football team about gambling. I've done that for the past four years. One of the things I use in that presentation is the film that Michael talked about which hits all of the high points and talks about the sad stories with athletes getting involved in these things, both at the professional and collegiate level.
What I try to do, after showing that film, is to reinforce it by telling the athletes they are a special individual person because of where they are athletically. You need to take advantage of that. You need not squander that opportunity and you have to be alert and aware that there are people out there who will try to get to you.
One of the things I mention to them is exactly another point that Michael made and that is, the individuals depicted in that film are pretty hardened criminals, bookmakers, the types that are on the streets. These aren't the kind of bookmakers that these student-athletes are likely to run into. The bookmakers that are on campus and campus bookmaking is a real problem. Sports Illustrated has done a featured article on it. HBO has done several stories on college campus gambling. So, it is a problem.
I try to tell the athletes to look at the person sitting next to you in the classroom with his hat on backwards. He looks like you, but he's a bookmaker. He's running a bookmaking operation in addition to being a student.
In the Arizona State case that I've been asked to speak about, the point-shaving case, is exactly what unfolded in that case. The March 5, 1994, men's basketball game between Arizona State and the University of Washington, caused a real furor in Las Vegas because of the heavy wagering on that game. The wagering was all one-sided. It was on the University of Washington, who was a 14-point underdog going into that game. This was very unusual betting activity. It was noted by the individual in Las Vegas who writes the sports lines. Because there was so much money bet on the one side, they wound up taking that game off the boards.
This was in the media the next day. When I read the paper and saw it on television, the media started examining that game and noticed that ASU came out and missed their first 15 shots. Was there something wrong in this game? ASU did turn around, halftime and won the game, 73-55.
There was speculation that someone from the Pac-10 Conference went into the locker room and spoke to the players. That proved not to be true.
Because of that totality and circumstances of that game, it just suggested to me that everything I had known about this kind of activity, the elements were there. Did we know that anything was awry as far as the basketball team? No. We were not able to tell that at that time. The media, of course, suggested that. What complicated the matter was the ASU baseball coach happened to be in Las Vegas when that story broke, leading to further speculation.
What resulted was, an investigation started. We focused on the individuals who were betting all the money. Who are these guys? Where are they getting all the money? Why are they betting it like they are? We investigated this group. The case wasn't indicted until late 1997. There were several reasons for that. Number one, we do a thorough, not necessarily a fast investigation. Some of the elements that were missing initially, we looked into.
We initiated a case, what I like to call a quiet investigation, because we didn't want to feed into the media hype about what maybe went wrong with that game. At my suggestion, the head of our office went over to the campus of the Arizona State University and spoke with the athletics administration. He advised them at the point where we were going to interview people. We had no control over them going to the media. We wanted the university to know we were doing an investigation, however, the university was not the focus of that investigation at that point. They appreciated that we gave them a heads up, as we did throughout the investigation. Anytime we thought there was anything that would result in media attention, we brought it to the attention of the university. Arizona State University cooperated throughout that investigation and they still are.
This is still an impending investigation. I've been asked to speak about it. I can talk a little bit about what has been adjudicated so far. There were six individuals indicted, two of them were student-athletes who admitted to shaving points at basketball games. A few of them were bookmakers and some from the Chicago area. All six, so far, have pled guilty. They have not been sentenced. This is a pending investigation. It is possible these individuals may testify and cooperate further.
A player struck up an association with a campus bookmaker, as Michael talked about. Initially, he bet $5 or $10 on games. Quickly, that $5 and $10 became $20 and $50 and then, hundreds and thousands of dollars. Where did he get the money?
Another area we looked at is the sports agents' area. Sports agents, whom I know personally, paid an athlete $170,000 over a two-year period. That's documented through records. To me, that's amazing. That player was later drafted into the professional ranks. These players do have money. They get it either through the agents or, the hundred dollar handshakes from the boosters.
Once the student-athlete reached a point where he was betting those amounts of money, he was not a very sophisticated better and he was losing his wagers. What resulted was a substantial debt to the bookmaker. He actually got out of control. He bet $10,000 on a couple of games. When he would lose, he would try to double that bet and win it back. He would lose again. He found himself in a position where there was no way out. Well, there was a way out and that was to shave points in the basketball game. It's exactly what we tell these guys will happen. The situation escalates to that point.
Once the campus bookmakers have an athlete in their pocket, the word goes out. These guys can never keep a good thing to themselves. They could have made a lot of money if they would have kept this to themselves, but the word gets out. Everybody wants a piece of the action. Eventually, a few guys run over to Las Vegas to start betting $100,000 in a casino and set off all of the bells. The next thing you know, the whole thing is blown out of the water. That student-athlete did recruit another player to assist him in shaving points. So, we had two players involved in a total of four games.
I'd like to talk more about the prevention part of that. A lot of good points have already been made. I think you need to become pro-active to having better institutional control. You need to have a good handle on what's going on in your programs. I don't know if everybody can appreciate the fact that there are so many people out there trying to influence these athletes for their own purposes, but they're out there. It's an ever-present problem and you need to have a greater awareness of that.
The three most important things you can do are educate, educate, educate. You need to avail yourself to all of the resources available to you to educate the athletes on the dangers of gambling and what could happen. I spoke to the ASU incoming football players last year. It was amazing to see these kids out there who are just astonished and amazed. They have no idea that these dangers exist and you can see it on their faces. It needs to be reinforced.
The poster the NCAA put together on gambling was a terrific idea. Put that in every locker room as a constant reminder that the danger is there. When they see that kid sitting there in handcuffs, it sends a message.
Watch the players' habits. The player I talked about, $170,000 in two years, you can't tell me his lifestyle habits didn't reflect that in some way. I don't know if people just don't want to know, don't want to ask the hardball questions, but you have to. You've got to know. Where's that kind of money coming from?
The hangers-on. Who are these players associating with? Who are they giving free tickets to? Who are these people? Who's sitting right behind the bench? Is there somebody that's really close to these guys that looks questionable? It's not that hard to figure out.
Above all, if you have a problem, don't try to handle it in-house. If you see there may be a criminal problem developing, call in the people who do this for a living. There are actions that have been taken in the past on some of these cases where it could possibly jeopardize future court proceedings because people were not aware that they shouldn't have done some of the things they did when they anticipated a problem.
That's about all I have. Thank you.
Thank you. Bill Saum was named as the NCAA's agent on gambling in 1976. For the previous eight years, he had served as an enforcement representative investigating NCAA member institutions for rules violations. Prior to his arrival at the NCAA, Bill was an assistant football coach, assistant dean of students. Bill received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Dayton and a Masters of Sports Administration from Bowling Green State University. Bill, we call on you once again.
Thank you Chuck. I'll keep my comments brief, but I'd like to provide you with several reminders and updates. Let's not forget that lots of the items we've talked about today is the point shaving side, but we really need to go back to our campuses and address the sports betting side with the student bookie. We've talked about that often, but please remember, we have two issues here. As with the cases we've mentioned today, they are directly related. If we have student-athletes wagering with student bookies, it then puts our games at risk.
I'd like to also remind us that we've worked diligently with our relationship with the FBI. On July 8 and 9, the NCAA will be hosting a seminar for FBI agents from across the United States and Washington to raise their awareness on sports wagering, but also, to re-invigorate this program that Jim referred to. By August, we will have plenty of FBI agents' names who have gone through an NCAA orientation and will be able to make an impact on your campus. Feel free to reach out to our office.
I want to remind you that this is not just male oriented. Our women's NCAA March Madness, every game in that tournament had a line on it in Las Vegas. The public is now betting on Division I women's basketball. Certainly, our top 10 women's program will have a line on them in the regular season with illegal bookies.
As you go back to campus and meet with the other side, whether it's the campus security or the dean of students, a couple of studies do exist. One study exists that states six to eight percent of all college students are potential pathological gamblers. There's a recent Harvard study that indicates between the ages of 13 and 20, there are between five million and 11 million potential problem gamblers. Those are numbers I would hope draw your attention to your own campus.
We remind you again about Internet. We're not just dealing with student bookies here. You can wager over the Internet right from the residence hall, from the apartments where our athletes reside. You can use a VISA card. It's very, very simple. Internet sports wagering is illegal.
I want to remind you that the tape that was mentioned by both, Michael and Jim, "Gambling With Your Life," that was produced by the professional leagues, last week we regained permission to distribute a copy of that to every institution in the NCAA. You will receive that in July. The poster that was mentioned by Jim will be re-sent to you in August.
The last issue is that we are now hooked up at the national office to Las Vegas directly to the casinos so that we can monitor the lines. Those are some of the things we have done and will continue to do. As always, if we can be of assistance to you, please call on us. Thank you.
If you have not seen the video that's been alluded to, make sure when that arrives, you see it. It is compelling. Cedric Dempsey became the third NCAA executive director on January 1, 1994. His title now is president. As president, Mr. Dempsey oversees a staff of more than 300 at the association's national office located in Overland Park, Kansas and provides leadership in the governance structure for more than 1,200 colleges and universities and conferences and affiliated organizations. Prior to joining the NCAA in 1994, Ced was director of athletics at several universities, including the University of Arizona, the University of Houston, San Diego State University and the University of the Pacific. Ced, we appreciate your time, once again.
Thank you Chuck. I'm sorry that people always go through the litany of schools I've worked at. It indicates that I couldn't hold a job very long, but it's a pleasure being with you today. It's ironic to me, that the first executive director of the NCAA, several years ago, made a comment that it there is one thing that will destroy intercollegiate athletics, it will be sports gambling. That was Walter Byers.
I find it interesting that we're here today to talk about sports wagering and why now, when Walter mentioned this many years ago. Why are we doing this? I want to address, first of all, why we are at this stage and then talk about what we are trying to do to raise sensitivity with our membership and within society in general related to this issue. Sports wagering has been with us for a long time. Illegal sports wagering, athletes involved in sports wagering, is not new in our society. What is new, has been the acceptance of wagering and betting and gambling in our society. We are all faced, in a very broad sense, with a very difficult issue. All of the issues that we face on a day-to-day basis are the issues we have in society.
What is different then? Our society holds us to a higher standard. We're expected not to have the kinds of issues that are being created out of our society. As we talk about this issue today, it's important for us to keep in perspective of what is happening in that global society and what makes your job and our job extremely difficult, and that is, the acceptance of gambling. Bill has mentioned to you the problem of addiction. Gambling is certainly more than just a problem, it is an addiction. It is an addiction. Some of the studies we're seeing now, of six-year olds up to 15-years olds, and their growing addiction to gambling is frightening. It is frightening. It is something that we're not immune to and we have to learn how to address it within intercollegiate athletics.
Some of the board things that you are challenged with. How many of you accept money in terms of your program advertising from the lotteries your state holds? How many of you do that? How many of you accept money from the casinos? Forty eight out of 50 states now have legalized gambling. We know that exists. We know the acceptance of gambling in our society, so why should we be surprised to hear that six-year-old and seven-year-olds see that as a way of life. We're creating that kind of atmosphere.
I raise the question to you to think about that in going back to your campus. It's not unlike when we talk about drug abuse and we accept beer advertisements. There's a similar relationship there and you have to deal with that. I was interested as I made campus visits in the fall, going to different areas of the country, and talking with members of that campus about their issues. I was astounded in Starksville, Mississippi, when they said the number one student activity was driving two hours to a casino. Why do we have on-campus betting? Why do have our own athletes involved in betting because they see that as a way of life of the way we're living.
I recently had an experience that effected me personally. I have a cancer run in my name at Arizona. I just visited there and we were looking back on our gifts. Everybody gets a T-shirt. Major donors are advertised on these shirts. We have two ads, one from the local casino and one from the state lottery. I sat down with the people from the Cancer Center last week and talked about that $25,000 from each for that particular run. We decided we're not going to support that. We will not accept money from those entities any longer.
In many of your cases, that's a significant amount of money. I raise with you the question of whether or not, again, it is setting that whole stage of acceptance on campus and in our society related to this issue.
As you've heard here today, it is a significant issue. It is an issue that is eroding, to me, some various principles related to intercollegiate sports. That's why two years ago, Bill had been playing with this and doing what he could on behalf of trying to educate our population related to this issue that we assigned him full-time to this area. We need a lot more people than that. The one thing he briefly mentioned and I'd like to re-emphasize, is the growing relationship we have with the FBI on this issue. He has had the opportunity to talk with regional representatives and we're hoping you will utilize those representatives on your campus.
Many of you are doing this. One way we can educate, educate, educate, is certainly, to involve our student-athletes in making them more aware of the problems Michael has addressed. Some of the things, to me, that are issues that, as an association, we need to begin to look at have been assigned to the Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Association-Wide Committee. I do believe that it's an association-wide issue. It's not just a Division I issue. It is an issue they will address and look at ways we might assist institutions and assist dealing with this particular issue.
One, is expanding our Bylaw 10.3. That is the bylaw that relates to what is acceptable relating to gambling in intercollegiate athletics or what isn't and who is involved. Basically, that's athletics employees and student-athletes we feel may want to be looked at from a perspective of broadening who falls under that category. Prospective student-athletes because what we're seeing now in a lot of areas is that they are becoming very involved at a very early age. We may want to include that as part of our Bylaw 10.3. Who is encompassed into our bylaws related to illegal wagering?
The faculty athletics representative is immune to this. The president is immune to our own bylaws related to gambling. We ought to broaden who falls under this category, not just athletics personnel or student-athletes, but the prospective student-athletes, the faculty athletics representatives and the president needs to also be involved as it relates to this particular issue.
Game officials. The Division I Men's Basketball Committee. I had a memorandum last year suggesting to conferences to do background checks on all officials. I recall one year when I was on a basketball committee, we had one official who surfaced whose brother was involved in organized gambling. We did a background check on that. We need to be doing a background check on all of our officials because they are as vulnerable to Organized Crime in terms of the betting process. It's important we consider the impact upon games by the officials.
As mentioned, comprehensive educational programs are things we have been starting and helping institutions with them using the FBI and our own association in terms of what materials we can make available. The posters that we've mentioned have been well received. Sometimes we think they are not of value, but you'll find student-athletes that will look at them. If there's a factor on success in any kind in educational programs, it's repetition. We must keep educating, keep educating and keep bringing examples to their attention.
One of the problems we have found on campuses is the lack of acceptance that there is an issue on campuses. Many campus personnel do not understand that there is student betting going on on their campuses. Bill and I had the opportunity to speak to the secretary to higher education group. In that body, was the head of the student personnel association that was represented on your campuses. They did not recognize that it was a major issue. The head of the student health centers said that he had one physician tell him for years that gambling is an addiction. He never believed it until just a few years ago. He has offered to help us write a manual for campus health centers to deal with the addiction of gambling on campuses.
We're trying to work at that level to try and educate, not only our own membership, but to educate other higher education associations as to what the issues are. It's a continuing process and, as has already been mentioned, it's the most effective process. It's not a quick fix. It's something you need to have a long-term program. It is not a program just isolated to men's basketball or men's football. Anything that gamblers can find that can be waged upon, they will wage. We are looking at whether or not we need to make sure that all sports and women's sports, included, are worked on. As we look at the growth of women's basketball, where there are going to be lines on women's basketball just as we have on the men's games. It is a universal problem, if you will. The problem of sports betting on campuses that Michael has referred to is enormous. There is no reason to believe that there's a campus in this country that does not have illegal sports betting going on in the dorms and on campus.
Events selection, site selection is another one. Should you be going and holding events in areas where we have legalized gambling. The NCAA has taken an issue on that and we've raised the same question related to conferences and institutions that are involved in competition.
The other one I would like to mention is the enforcement issue as to whether or not the association should get more involved in the investigation of sports wagering. Actually, at this time, we utilize the federal government for this purpose. It is an enormous task in terms of enforcement. This is something that as an association, we'll need to review.
We want to emphasize again that we appreciate the opportunity to be with you today to keep bringing to your level of sensitivity that this is a significant issue. I don't disagree with Walter Byers, if there's one thing that will destroy the integrity of sport, it is truly sports wagering. It is an issue in front of us and can affect us on a day-to-day basis. We see examples of that all the time. The reaction to the Northwestern situation has made us realize that if it can happen at Northwestern, it can happen anywhere.
From the Floor:
I have a question of resources. We, obviously, know that it's a problem at our college campuses, but we don't inherit these kids and they don't bet for the very first time when they arrive on a college campus. Has any thought been given to giving some resources to the high schools helping to view these program to the high schools. As we've mandated through the Clearinghouse lots of conditions for high schools, can we help this get involved in the high school level?
This is an issue that we have constant communication with Bob Kennedy of the High School Federation. We have a very good relationship with him at this point. Certainly, the NCAA and the High School Federation have been two leaders in establishing a citizenship through sport alliance and working with them. We have put some money into that project which will help them and their educational program. We will continue to work closely with them.
I'm Carlyle Carter with the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a Division III conference. I realize I might be trespassing a little bit in a Division I Breakout, but I think the topic was well worth my time.
Just recently, we had some inquiries in our conference office for fax list or broadcast lists to a particular publication. When I asked the nature of this publication, there was a lot of stammering around. It finally got out that it was a publication that dealt with gambling and setting lines. We may, unknowingly, in our sports information departments in our attempt to get greater publicity for our programs, be supplying information to publications that are involved in actually setting the lines.
The question I have is, as an organization, should we continue to supply press credentials and statistics that help these individuals and these groups set betting lines? Should we allow those individuals to continue to cover our events?
That's a very good issue that gets into that global picture. The Men's Basketball Committee, two years ago, was prepared to withdraw the credentials of the newspapers that provide betting lines. If I recall, there are only three or four major newspapers that don't do that. We were faced with a major issue. We brought together all the AP sports writers and addressed the issue with them. They made a commitment to us. They felt that they could not, themselves, eliminate the lines, but they could do some things to assist us. We've been trying to evaluate whether that's been successful. We are going to have to re-address the issue or position that we took at one time.
In doing that, we need to make sure our own houses are clean. It's what you're talking about. All of us get asked and, in some cases, frequently printed as to what the betting lines are. If we're going to move in that direction, we better be clean ourselves because we will get ripped on hypocrisy.
Ced, Bill, Michael, we are all very grateful for all that you're doing for all of us. We thank you.