Butler Takes A Stance Against Students And Faculty Betting The Bulldogs

Posted on February 20, 2020

Butler University is the latest Indiana school to ban sports betting on all of its teams and athletes.

The recently announced policy applies to all of the University’s trustees, faculty, staff, students, and independent contractors.

Some schools around the country have had concerns about athletics-related inside information. The idea is that someone could use that information to create an unfair betting advantage.

Butler’s new policy tackles those concerns directly.

Purdue has a similar betting ban in place

Purdue University was the first college in Indiana to ban sports betting.

Its Board of Trustees approved the policy back in October, which was right in line with the start of mobile sports betting throughout the state.

The policy, much like Butler’s, also bans Purdue’s community from betting on the school’s athletic events. That includes students and employees alike.

Since the Boilermakers adopted the ban so quickly after sports betting started in Indiana, it’s clear that the University wanted to get ahead of any potential problems.

Depending on the circumstances, anyone that breaks Purdue’s betting rules could be fired or expelled from school. Butler plans to dole out similar kinds of punishments.

However, what remains unclear is exactly how the university can police and restrict what is a perfectly legal activity. Unless a student or faculty member openly admits to betting, there are no real means to track such activity.

Although Butler wasn’t as quick to put its policy in place, it may not have needed to be.

Other schools in the state don’t think that a sports betting ban is necessary at all.

Ball State, IU, and Notre Dame haven’t banned sports betting

The vast majority of universities around the country do not have a campus-wide sports betting ban in place.

Ball State, Indiana University, and Notre Dame are just a few of those schools. At least for now, they’ve all found themselves taking the opposite stance compared to Butler and Purdue.

Ball State’s President Geoffrey Mearns and Athletic Director Beth Goetz did explore what a potential ban would look like for the university.

However, they decided that there just wasn’t enough evidence that Ball State was in need of such a policy. Mearns and Goetz sought advice from officials from other universities in their conference before making their decision.

Indiana University has found itself in the same situation. IU isn’t currently working on putting a sports betting ban together either.

IU hasn’t seen the same call for action that their rival Purdue did. The Boilermakers had some staff push for a new policy after sports betting became legal in Indiana.

Notre Dame is another major college in the Hoosier State that hasn’t banned sports betting. Despite its popular football program, the university hasn’t seen any instances of inappropriate gambling.

That lack of evidence means that Notre Dame just doesn’t think a new betting policy is necessary right now.

Most schools stick with the NCAA’s rules

For now, Ball State, IU, and Notre Dame are sticking with the NCAA’s more basic policy. Most colleges around the country have done the same.

Those rules ban athletes, coaches, athletic personnel and certain officials from placing bets on their associated teams. Students and other faculty are still allowed to bet on their school’s teams.

All three universities plan to keep an eye on things, despite the initial hesitation to put a new policy together.

If circumstances change, the policies may change along with them. Each of those schools are open mixing things up down the line if the need arises.

However, Indiana hasn’t been the only state where colleges have had mixed feelings about sports betting.

Penn State and Villanova take opposite sides

Some states, such as New Jersey, don’t allow sportsbooks to take wagers on athletic events at any of the state’s universities.

Pennsylvania is not one of those states. Betting on the state’s colleges is allowed in most cases.

However, just like in Indiana, Pennsylvania is seeing some colleges create their own bans.

St. Joseph’s and Villanova University have done exactly that. Both schools created sports betting bans of their own.

Those policies mirror the ones put in place at Butler and Purdue, since students and faculty alike can’t bet on university teams.

That’s been contrary to how big fish Penn State has seen the issue. Betting on the school’s games has become very popular throughout the state. That’s because Penn State normally has one of the top football teams in the country.

Penn State’s stance is a significant one, given that popularity and the school’s status as the largest college in Pennsylvania.

It falls in line with the majority of universities around the country by not putting a ban in place.

However, more states might see mixed results from their schools as sports betting expands throughout the country.

Butler, Villanova, and others with bans in place may not be alone in that regard forever.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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