The NCAA, in its continual effort to protect the integrity of the student-athlete without a shred of hypocrisy, has declared that any athlete caught playing daily fantasy games like the oft-advertised FanDuel and DraftKings could be subjected to a year-long suspension.
DraftKings, FanDuel, and their ubiquitous ads are slowly oozing out of the NCAA due to their flirtation with gambling. Even though daily fantasy games are not technically gambling, Pac-12 President Larry Scott told USA Today that his conference is severing all ties with daily fantasy advertising:
“The federal government has determined, for the moment, that it’s not gambling,” Scott said. “But the NCAA has taken a position that we can set the rules and we don’t support it. So that’s where we’ve drawn the line.”
The Pac-12 Network may be able to wash its hands of the advertisements, but that will do little to subdue the onslaught of daily fantasy ads. The fad has even worked itself into the casual college football conversation by making appearances on College Gameday segments. Whether the NCAA likes it or not, an amalgamation of fantasy and gambling is like cocaine to the general college football fandom. Stopping the infiltration of daily fantasy will be like catching water with your hands. Nonetheless, Scott and the Pac-12 are monitoring pervasiveness of daily fantasy games within media coverage:
“We would not like to see more discussion about gambling and spread,” he said. “We feel like that’s not the healthiest or best presentation of the college game. Obviously we have to give some latitude to our broadcast partners and from an editorial standpoint, in terms of how they want to call the game, but we have opened up dialogue.”
Scott and the Pac-12 will fight the good fight but their efforts might be fut—oh look, another FanDuel commercial.