SEC Commissioner Isn’t Ready for Conference Decision on NCAA’s College Player Prop Ban Push

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says conversation is ongoing on NCAA's request for college player prop bans in states with legal sports betting.

Brad Senkiw - News Editorat
Brad Senkiw • News Editor
May 29, 2024 • 10:02 ET • 4 min read
Greg Sankey SEC
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

A major power broker in college sports says one of the most powerful conferences has not talked much about banning college player props.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey spoke Monday at the league’s spring meetings on one of the hottest topics in the sports betting industry, confirming that his league recognizes the issue but is still working through it. 

“We had a conversation here last year about it with our student-athletes, so we attach the mental health conversation to sports gambling to the pressures that we are learning about,” Sankey said. “It is a conversation that is taking place at a superficial level. There’s a depth to it to come. Obviously, (NCAA president) Charlie Baker’s been clear about the need for some change, getting away from the open-ended nature of things.”

Six states in the SEC’s footprint have legal sports betting. When the 2024 season kicks off in late August, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Florida are set to allow college player prop wagers.

Baker wants ban

In March, Baker asked U.S. states where legal, regulated sports betting occurs to stop allowing college player props, which are wagers made on individual’s stats, like receptions in football or rebounds in basketball.  

"Sports betting issues are on the rise across the country with prop bets continuing to threaten the integrity and competition and leading to student-athletes and professional athletes getting harassed,” Baker said in a statement. “The NCAA has been working with states to deal with these threats and many are responding by banning college prop bets.”

Ohio, Maryland, and Vermont complied with the request. Louisiana, which has LSU from the SEC, placed a ban on college player props that goes into effect Aug. 1. 

Other states, like Montana and Michigan, are looking into changing what sportsbooks can offer.

More than 20 U.S. jurisdictions currently allow college player prop betting, although many of them, including SEC state Florida, have restrictions that include no wagering on in-state teams.  

Unregulated wagering

While Sankey didn’t seem like college player props are high on the priority list right now, he did go on to talk about another gambling issue. 

Sports betting is now legal in 38 U.S. states, but unregulated wagering still occurs in both legal and illegal markets, which recently popped up on Sankey’s radar. 

“Also, we’re talking about legalized sports gambling, and I saw some numbers that I didn’t study up yesterday, reading a report,” Sankey said. “There’s still staggering numbers of, I guess, unsanctioned sports betting that takes place so yeah, it’s a conversation but we haven’t gone deep and we have started writing letters on the issue.”

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