Statement From Chancellor Vitter On Sports Betting Law

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August 31, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As we begin a new academic year and with the start of a new football season just days away, I am looking forward to another great year for our student-athletes, as they engage in the highest level of NCAA competition and continue to excel in the classroom. I’d like to take this opportunity to talk with you briefly about an important change in the law and the possible ramifications for intercollegiate athletics.

Last spring, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow each state to enact its own laws around legalized sports betting. Since then, our Athletics Department has conferred with the NCAA and worked with staff, coaches, student-athletes, student families, and those who support our athletics programs to ensure that everyone understands the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling for NCAA member institutions like ours. Our highest priority is to safeguard the well-being of our student-athletes.

While betting on collegiate sports is now legal in Mississippi, the NCAA’s position on the issue has not changed. The NCAA strictly prohibits sports betting by student-athletes, staff members of an athletics department, and non-athletics department employees who have responsibilities within or over athletics. In this spirit, we also want our larger university and sports community to recognize that sports betting by those close to student-athletes and athletics programs, including faculty and staff, can put the university or athletes at risk of violating NCAA rules.

As a NCAA member institution, the University of Mississippi keeps student-athlete health and safety, compliance, and integrity at the forefront. Thank you for standing with us. Your continued support helps all of our student-athletes compete at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics.

Should you have related questions, please contact Erica McKinley, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, at mckinley@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7014.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey S. Vitter

Chancellor and Distinguished Professor