The Stain Of Gambling…

There was a time when the NCAA refused to allow a state – – Nevada to be specific – – to host any sort of championship event because that state had the taint of sports gambling associated with it.  The NCAA could – – and did – – get away with that farcical stance because the US Congress in its infinite wisdom passed a law designed to “protect” professional and amateur sports from the evils of gambling.  And then the US Supreme Court said that law was null and void because it was unconstitutional.  Previous NCAA Presidents like Cedric Dempsey, Myles Brand and Mark Emmert smugly dismissed Nevada in general – – and Las Vegas very specifically – – as possible sites for any sort of important NCAA event.

Myles Brand has cast off his mortal coil; he has gone to the great amateur sports venue in the sky.  Dempsey and Emmert are still exchanging oxygen in our biosphere so they can deal with the ignominy they so richly deserve as we look at only men’s college basketball as one NCAA sport and how it has found ways to exist in Nevada in 2023.  I may have missed some activities here, but my list demonstrates that any and all of the self-righteous bleatings of the NCAA in the past were nothing more than self-righteous bleatings:

  1. The PAC-12 held its Conference Championship Tournament in Las Vegas
  2. The Mountain West Conference held its Conference Championship Tournament in Las Vegas.
  3. The WAC held its Conference Championship Tournament in Las Vegas.
  4. The WCC held its Conference Championship Tournament in Las Vegas.

As if that were insufficient to rub the noses of those prigs in the reality of 2023 in the US and the existence of gambling on men’s college basketball that existed before and during the barren times overseen by these recent NCAA barons, add these events to the 2023 list of activities in the sinful environs of Nevada and Las Vegas:

  1. The NIT Final Four will be in Las Vegas this year.
  2. The NCAA’s own March Madness West Regional Final games will be in Las Vegas this year.

And I am willing to go out on a limb and predict that with all of that overbearing pressure on the games played by those so-called “student-athletes”, the most annoying song from the musical Annie has relevance here because:

  • The sun will come up tomorrow – – and then – –
  • The sun will come out tomorrow.

Do not anticipate any statements of sorrow for being wrong from Cedric Dempsey and/or Mark Emmert.  They will be watching the games and pretending that any gambling on those games is done by unrepentant degenerates in our society who have been given license to yield to the Devil’s temptations by the miscalculations of the US Supreme Court.  I prefer to think that it is the time for real people in the US to rub the noses of those two goofs in the waste products of every NCAA basketball athlete who participated in an event in Las Vegas this year and managed to come away from it without the stain of scandal attached to his name forever and ever.

Oh, and by the way, the current mavens who chart the course of March Madness which is the single largest revenue stream left for the NCAA to live on have decided to stage the Final Four – – the Holy Grail of each and every NCAA competition – – in Las Vegas, NV in 2028.

Cedric Dempsey will be 95 in 2028 so he may be sitting next to Myles Brand in the Celestial Café watching the March Madness games in 2028 in their purest form;  Mark Emmert should – actuarially speaking – – still be among us in 2028 at age 76 and someone ought to ask him then if he was even tempted to fill out a bracket and/or to take Blueblood U and lay 35.5 points against Who’s That College – – the team that got a mandatory bid to that tournament by winning the WTF Conference.  Trust me, no one is going to ask him that question then even if they can find where he is hiding out 5 years from now.

Many times in these rants, I have railed against the idealistic nincompoops who asserted that gambling on collegiate sports would ruin those events.  The premise of their arguments was so patently false that their argument(s) did not deserve even minimal consideration.  Let me be clear:

  • Gambling – – on anything including college sports – – has a dark side.
  • Consuming alcohol and smoking pot have a dark side.
  • People are going to gamble notwithstanding the existence of that dark side.
  • People are going to consume alcohol and marijuana notwithstanding the existence of that dark side.

Trying to ban alcohol consumption – – Prohibition – – was tried and it did not stop people from drinking.  Trying to ban marijuana smoking was tried and it did not stop people from smoking – – and inhaling even despite Bill Clinton’s lame attempt at deflecting that inquiry.

Walking along that same track, trying to prevent or ignore the existence of gambling on college sporting events does not stop the practice of betting on college sporting events.

  • Wagering on college sports is at least 100 years old and will continue to be a common practice among college sports fans until and unless there are no more inter-collegiate sports events for them to wager on.

That is not some sort of Satanic-inspired prophesy; that is the reality of human existence.  Now if one’s religious beliefs leads one to conclude that the only way for such to be the reality of the human condition is for it to be Satan-inspired, have at it.  My intention is not to try to make a theological point that I am supremely incompetent to make; my intention here is to say specifically that people gamble on a variety of things from sports to the roll of a pair of dice to the turn of a playing card; and laws, regulations and high-falutin’ rhetoric is not going change that state of affairs.

Now, go watch today’s Sweet-16 games in this year’s NCAA Tournament and enjoy the spectacle – – with or without “a little something” riding on the games’ outcomes.

Finally, having spent today dealing with gambling on college sports, let me close with a famous observation by the American journalist, Damon Runyon:

“It may be that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong – but that is the way to bet.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



5 thoughts on “The Stain Of Gambling…”

  1. This is premature. Any evidence of fixing usually comes months or years after the game was fixed. Mark Emmert could still get the last laugh.

    1. Gil:

      The way that a potential “fix” would be found will have nothing to do with the NCAA “invesitgators”. Now that sports betting is legal in so many places, the sportsbooks can probably now take their info – – they will be the ones to turn it up – – directly to the authorities for some sort of criminal action. the NCAA is now a useless appendage.

  2. BTW, that quote”? Predates Runyon. He said he was quoting Franklin Adams (Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance) who said “As Hugh Keough used to say ….. ”

    …but it is a great line

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