Saturday, August 16, 2003

NCAA continues its fight against betting

College football notebook

Enquirer staff, wire reports

Bill Saum, the NCAA's director of gambling activities, knows he can't catch everyone.

That doesn't mean he won't try to beat the odds in preventing betting on college sports.

"We can never stop it because it's such a societal problem, but we can limit it by educating coaches and administrators about the pitfalls," Saum said. "We can also become a little more cutting-edge in educating people."

Saum thinks state lotteries, Internet wagering and the growing number of casinos has made gambling more socially acceptable.

He now sees that attitude trickling down to college students and athletes. Some studies, Saum said, reveal that 25 percent of football and basketball players wager on games - including 4 percent on the game in which their team is involved. Many use student bookies.

Saum's game plan is to educate and reiterate the NCAA's policy, which prohibits all forms of gambling: no betting on one's games, no betting other games, no pools, no exceptions.

The NCAA also hopes to delve into the underworld of sports betting this fall by surveying 30,000 college athletes about their gambling practices. Saum said the 45-question survey will be confidential. Instead of using the answers to catch infractions, the NCAA will use responses to build a stronger case against gambling.

CINCINNATI: UC's game at South Florida has been moved from Nov. 1 to Friday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. to accommodate a national telecast by ESPN2.

The change gives UC four games scheduled for national or regional television this season. UC's Sept. 1 opener vs. East Carolina will be televised on ESPN and the Nov. 28 season-ender with Louisville on ESPN2 as part of the network's rivalry week series. UC's Sept. 13 game at West Virginia will be televised regionally by ESPN Regional. WXIX-TV (Channel 19) will air the game in Cincinnati and also will televise UC's Oct. 23 Homecoming game vs. Army.

The South Florida-UC game was added to Conference USA's national television schedule, giving the league a record 12-game national package with ESPN.

This season marks the first for South Florida as a C-USA member.

LOUISVILLE: A hearing scheduled Wednesday will determine whether Cardinals wide receiver J.R. Russell violated probation when he was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Russell, a projected started for the Cardinals this year, was convicted in September of using a stolen debit-card number to buy a plane ticket. He was sentenced to a year in jail but had the sentence waived pending two years' probation.

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