Gambling by College Athletes in the United States

A 2006 research paper by Justin Wolfers, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Warton School, found that 1 percent of NCAA men’s basketball games between 1989 and 2005 had some sort of illegal gambling affecting the outcome of the game. Out of the nearly 500 games that were affected by illegal gambling, the paper estimated that about 6 percent of the favored teams in the contest were willing to play badly to affect the point spread, a process known as point shaving.

(Additional facts about match fixing and sports betting.)

Most of the point shaving cases that occurred in college basketball involved the point guard position.

A survey conducted by the NCAA in 2008 found that up to 30 percent of all male college athletes admitted to betting at least once during the year on either pro or college sports. College athletes are not allowed to gambling on sporting events per NCAA regulations.

Source:  Jon Solomon, “Gambling in college sports is a big worry,” Birmingham News, March 11, 2012.