UNC’s Armando Bacot Joins List of Players Frustrated by Bettors

North Carolina star says he received "probably over 100 DMs" from angry bettors after a win during the March Madness tournament.

Mar 28, 2024 • 14:10 ET • 4 min read
Armando Bacot NCAAB North Carolina
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

March has been filled with negative press for the legal sports betting industry. From Shohei Ohtani’s press conference to Jontay Porter’s investigation, there are also plenty of stories on bettors stepping over the line if they lose money. With an eye on the NCAA Sweet 16 games, Armando Bacot, forward on the University of North Carolina’s basketball team, described how he became a focus of bettors. 

“I guess I didn’t hit the over,” Bacot said recently of his 18-point performance in UNC's second-round win over Michigan State. “I got over probably 100 DMs from people just telling me like, ‘You suck, you didn’t hit the over!’"

But it wasn’t just online. North Carolina launched sports betting just in time for the NCAA tournament putting the spotlight on players in person.

“I order DoorDash and the driver is like, ‘Man, y’all messed up my parlay!’ I’m just like, whatever. It’s a lot,” Bacot said. 

Calls for change 

With eyes on the NCAA, president Charlie Baker is flexing the association’s waning power to try and reform sports wagering regulations around the U.S. to disallow prop bets on college athletes. 

It was through his advocacy that Ohio and Maryland changed course and no longer let operators accept college player prop bets. And as more experiences come to light, don’t be surprised if others follow suit.  

States like West Virginia and New Mexico are taking a different lesson from the stress put on players who cost bettors money. They are looking into punishments for those who harass anyone tied to a game (officials, coaches, players, etc.).  

“People are extremely aggressive these days,” Brad Brownell, Clemson’s head coach said before his team's Sweet 16 match. “We get phone calls in our office sometimes. When things obviously don't go a bettor's way, we get some nasty calls. I know players probably get that through social media.” 

Bigger than college  

Angry bettors taking the extra step of calling is not just a college problem. Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff reported a phone call to the NBA

“They got my telephone number and were sending me crazy messages about where I live and my kids and all that stuff,” he said.  

Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton also voiced his feelings on betting’s growth in the league, saying “to half the world, I’m just helping them make money on DraftKings or whatever. I’m a prop.” 

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