ACC’s Swofford expects national rule on reporting injuries
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford expects an eventual new national rule requiring colleges to list all inactive or ineligible college players for game day following the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a federal law barring gambling on college sports.
Swoffford doesn’t anticipate the rule will be established until the 2019 season, he said Wednesday at the ACC Kickoff media days.
“I think that is critically important and would not only include injuries but if there is disciplinary action where a player is suspended for a game for whatever reason, that would need to be a part of it as well,” Swofford said. “I think that reduces to some degree people you don’t really want coming around players and managers and doctors and anybody associated with the program, or coaches, and trying to get information in an underhanded kind of way.
“My general feeling and our coaches general feeling is the same: That is probably something that needs to happen on a national basis. I don’t think it will happen for this season. I suspect it will be for next season. But I will be surprised if that is not in place.”
Sports books regularly use information on players not participating in games to adjust their betting lines.
The ACC will stick to its new rule of not requiring coaches to list injured or ineligible players for the 2018 season, he said.
Swofford, who is in his 21st year as ACC commissioner, said he “doesn’t like the optics of gambling on college sports,” and the ultimate question is how to protect the players and the integrity of the game.
But he knows gambling is the new reality.
The ACC has schools is 10 different states — some of which may allow gambling and others which may not — and may make enforcing rules on a consistent basis a little more complicated.
Amid the concern over how the Supreme Court ruling could impact sports, he remains optimistic it won’t be as big of a concern as some are making it out to be.
“Sometimes when you think something is going to be horrible and incredible mess and it comes into play and a year or two later you find out, well, that’s not as impactful as I thought it would be,” Swofford said. “We have seen that in recent years in college athletics.”
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday the Supreme Court could prompt the SEC to add weekly injury reports in the future.
Swofford added: “I don’t know how legalizing it, how much that changes everything. I don’t know that anybody does. And we talked about that at our commissioners’ meetings a couple of weeks ago and it’s kind of a ‘What-if, what-if and is this going to change or not?’ I think we are going to have to see how it plays out.”
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