Five College Baseball Players Suspended for Involvement in Fantasy Sports

Student-athletes need to think twice before accepting their fantasy football league invitations this year. Five players from the University of Richmond’s baseball team have learned this lesson the hard way. The five effected players have begun the 2017 college baseball season suspended by the NCAA for their involvement in a fantasy football league.

The NCAA rules state: “You are not eligible to compete if you knowingly participate in any sports wagering activity that involves intercollegiate, amateur or professional athletics, through a bookmaker, a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling. Examples of sports wagering include, but are not limited to, the use of a bookmaker or parlay card; Internet sports wagering; auctions in which bids are placed on teams, individuals or contests; and pools or fantasy leagues in which an entry fee is required.”

The five players will remain suspended until the NCAA completes the reinstatement process. Based on the current ruling, student-athletes need to be on notice that the NCAA has set a precedent that treats participation in fantasy sports no different than any other form of gambling. There has not been any information regarding what type of contest the students were involved with or if there was an entry fee. However, based on the NCAA’s application of the facts to the above rule, it is likely that there was a monetary incentive or entrance fee involved. It is noteworthy that fantasy sports are expressly legal in the state of Virginia.

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