Sports Betting

SEC Considers Mandating Injury Reports as Response to Sports Betting

We publish independently audited information that meets our strong editorial guidelines. Be aware we may earn a commission if you purchase anything via links on our pages.
SEC Considers Mandating Injury Reports as Response to Sports Betting

The NCAA’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) is considering a rule change that would mandate player availability reports using injury reports for sports betting. Legalized gambling has made it necessary for bettors to review inside information, such as the health status of players for prop bets, prior to games.

SEC could require schools to report injuries to help curb gamblers from offering players money for their health status

Since schools reporting injuries would become a rule, gamblers would no longer have the incentive to offer players money or otherwise put them in compromising positions for that inside information.

This move would certainly impact prop bets for all licensed sportsbooks. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey informed coaches this week about the possibility. However, he also said that a final decision is unlikely anytime soon.

“I did acknowledge it’s a cultural change for us, but things are changing around us,” Sankey said. “This is intended to be the beginning of a discussion and not a decision. That’s how I framed it.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he learned about the SEC initiative before coming to the meeting this week. The three-time SEC Coach of the Year is in favor of availability reports.

“If it helps with gambling then I’m all for it,” Smart said. “If it helps with gambling then I’m all for it.  And if it’s geared to getting knowledge out there that people are trying to get from our student-athletes and it protects them, I’m certainly for that.”

The Big Ten adopted injury reports last year

The Big Ten attempted to persuade the NCAA to consider adding a weekly injury report, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Murphy v. NCAA case that allowed individual states to legalize sports gambling in 2018.

Nevertheless, a universal mandate for all conferences never came to fruition.

The Big Ten adopted injury reports last year. This required schools to submit their reports at least two hours before kickoff. The information needs to be disclosed sooner than that.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith explained the rationale for the reporting at the time:

“In football, we’re going to kill this [idea of] gamesmanship around injuries. … We don’t know if we want to report as many days as the NFL, but clearly on Mondays if somebody is injured from Saturday and you know they’re not going to play the following Saturday because they broke their leg, why not just say that?”

If the NCAA cares about protecting its athletes, key information about player health and personnel decisions has to be made public for individual player props and related bets.

The SEC mandating it would be a step in the right direction for this new era of sports betting.