Study: One-Third of High-Profile NCAA Athletes Threatened By Gamblers

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; A general view as the Washington Huskies prepare to take an offensive snap.
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; A general view as the Washington Huskies prepare to take an offensive snap. / James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

In January, Dayton men's basketball coach Anthony Grant made headlines by directing a blunt message to gamblers he said were using social media to send hateful messages to his players.

"I have to say something because I think it’s just necessary at this point,” Grant told reporters. “When we have people that make [the game] about themselves and attack kids because of their own agenda, it sickens me.”

Now, the NCAA has provided data to demonstrate how widespread the practice is.

According to a study commissioned by college sports's governing body and published Friday, nearly a third of high-profile college athletes have received "abusive messages from someone with a betting interest" this academic year.

An artificial-intelligence service utilized by Signify Group, a London-based data science company, flagged some 540 gambling-related abusive comments during the NCAA basketball tournaments alone.

In a year rife with gambling scandals throughout North American sports, the relationship between sports and an increasingly destabilizing sports betting industry will be closely studied for years to come.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.