College athletic conferences and the NCAA have made it increasingly clear that they’re not comfortable in a relationship with Daily Fantasy Sports companies like DraftKings and FanDuel.
During the past month, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott revealed that the leaders of the five major conferences have asked DraftKings and FanDuel to stop offering games involving college players. And the NCAA has made it clear to its athletes that gambling on its games — which includes participating in daily fantasy sports contests — is prohibited and could cost them a year of eligibility. In an attempt to maintain some consistency on its stance toward gambling, the association also pressured ESPN to stop running “cover alerts,” which were rather outright nods to betting on college football games.
According to New York Times, the NCAA has also told DraftKings and FanDuel that the companies would be barred from advertising during the men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments. (Though it’s possible that request could change if the sites agree not to promote their college games, a concession the Pac-12 acknowledged after its initial tough stance.)
NCAA executives had been planning to meet with representatives from the two largest daily fantasy sports sites. But on Tuesday, the association announced it was canceling those meetings in the wake of federal and state inquiries regarding insider trading allegations that call the integrity of DFS games into significant doubt.
“The integrity of our collegiate contests are paramount,” NCAA executive vice president Mark Lewis said in a letter to DraftKings and FanDuel obtained by the NYT. “We believe that your product should not be offered in the college space for a variety of reasons, and we do not believe a further meeting with your organizations will change that view.”
The letter also went on to explain the NCAA’s position that daily fantasy sports “meet the definition of sports wagering within our bylaws,” and thus advertising will not be allowed in association with any championship events — most notably the college basketball tournaments — and accompanying TV broadcasts.
(By the way, that would not include the College Football Playoff, which is run by the Football Subdivision Conferences (along with Notre Dame), not the NCAA.
Additionally, the NCAA said it intended to provide a list of referees and game officials to DraftKings and FanDuel to determine whether or not any of them had participated in daily fantasy games. The companies said they had agreed to consult the list and confirm any involvement of the names listed with the NCAA.