Archive for Thursday, June 28, 2001

Coaches call for gambling ban

Bill would prohibit betting on amateur sports

June 28, 2001


— Two dozen college coaches and officials fanned out across Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge Congress to approve a bill banning gambling on amateur sports.

Wagering on college sports "takes away from the very innocence of our game," Penn State basketball coach Jerry Dunn said.

Among those accompanying Dunn were Georgia State basketball coach Lefty Driesell, South Carolina football coach Lou Holtz and retired Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler. They wore buttons with the words, "Don't bet on my game."

Wallace Renfro, director of public relations for the NCAA, said the coaches planned to meet with 65 members of the House and Senate. The NCAA paid for their trips to Washington.

The NCAA backs a bill that would outlaw wagering on college, high school and Olympic sports. Nevada allows wagering on professional and college sports but not on high school sports and the Olympics. No other state allows wagering on sports.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a sponsor of the bill, admitted he was surprised when opponents almost killed the legislation in the Senate Commerce Committee last month.

The committee split 10-10 over whether to gut the bill. The tie vote meant the bill survived. But it also showed that bill opponents had made progress since last year, when all but two members of the committee supported a ban.

McCain and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said they plan to force a floor vote on the bill by offering it as an amendment, but do not know when they will do so.

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