As chair of the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct, Bob Frederick recently testified before the House Financial Services committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Frederick, former Kansas University athletics director, was called to testify in support of a proposed Internet gambling bill.
Bill HR556 would make it illegal for a person to use a credit card or any other form of electronic transfer of funds to place a bet with an offshore internet site. Frederick said there are 1,400 offshore Internet gambling sites in cyberspace.
Frederick told the committee members horror stories about students maxing out credit cards while betting on college and professional sporting events on the Internet.
"I told them as a long-time athletics administrator and coach I am very much aware of the dangers sports gambling present," Frederick said. "As a person working on a college campus I'm concerned about not only the Internet gambling but the easy access to credit cards college students have.
"All of my anecdotal evidence of the problem indicates students are using credit cards to gamble on the internet and are running up to their limit on one credit card, then getting another and so on."
Frederick said a survey done last year by Nellie Mae, an agency that loans money to college students showed 78 percent have credit cards with 32 percent holding four or more.
"We are aware of a college student who in three months lost $10,000 gambling over college sports over the Internet. Another lost $5,000 on a single wager on the Super Bowl and was forced to drop out of school."
Frederick, who will chair the committee until September of 2002, also supports Arizona Sen. John McCain's attempt to ban college gambling in Nevada.
"It's discouraging because we can't get that even up for a vote on the Senate floor," Frederick said. "The gambling lobby is made up of a lot of contributions to a lot of senators and congressmen to fight this off."
Frederick also is a member of the NCAA basketball issues committee.
"We spent last year working on summer recruiting. I think the next topic we'll take up this fall is the 5-and-8 rule," Frederick said of a rule that allows no more than five scholarships in one year and eight in two years.
"It's not working like the people who framed it thought it would."