Home » How Big 12 players and coaches view the growing prominence of sports betting – The Daily Universe

How Big 12 players and coaches view the growing prominence of sports betting – The Daily Universe

How Big 12 players and coaches view the growing prominence of sports betting – The Daily Universe

LAS VEGAS — This year, Big 12 Football Media Days were held in Las Vegas, also known as the “Gambling Capital of the World.” In recent years, sports betting has become more normalized with legalization in many states. 

In his opening comments Tuesday, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark addressed the rise in sports betting. 

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark makes his opening statement at Media Days. Photo by Allessandra Gurr.

“We will … work with the NCAA to protect our student-athletes from the negatives that come with sports betting, especially prop bets,” Yormark said.

Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire echoed similar concerns and said their administration educates the team on the “do’s and don’ts” of sports betting. 

McGuire emphasized how invested players are and they aren’t purposefully not making plays.

“They’re doing the best they can. They definitely didn’t want to make any mistake. They have more invested in that game than anybody on social media. They have a lot invested in how hard they work,” McGuire added.

He was more concerned with the hate that can be tough on the guys but he tells his players to embrace it.

“I love the hate. I read everything, I’m a messed up person when it comes to that. It fires me up.”

Joey McGuire, Texas Tech Head Coach

Of the players interviewed, only TCU linebacker Namdi Obiazor expressed concern. He felt it was important to “keep the focus on the actual game itself rather than people getting players involved and making bets.”

For the other players, they all expressed that it didn’t affect them and they always remain focused on playing well and winning.

“It’s something that you see but I don’t really pay too much attention to it. You’re trying to focus every week to ultimately go out there and win the game and perform to the best of your abilities,” Iowa State receiver Jayden Higgins said.

Utah tight end Brant Kuithe said the players “can take it personal but I don’t really care if you bet on me and you get mad because you lose money because I didn’t get a certain amount of yards or touchdowns as long as we win the game, or even if we don’t, I’m not gonna listen to all that talk because it’s kinda stupid.”

As far as sports betting in the future, most players still embraced the idea.

“There’s a time and place for everything so if you can be smart with how you’re doing it and not try to take advantage of different things like that then I think it’s a great thing for people to do,” Texas Tech linebacker Jacob Rodriguez said.

Fellow linebacker Bryce Ramirez added, “it brings more viewership. And more viewership means more money for us.”

“People are gonna act how they act. When you’re a guy and you have the ability to go make plays and you don’t make plays then of course people are gonna be mad. I’d be mad too

Jayden Higgins, Iowa State Wide Receiver

Joey McGuire addresses the media. Photo by Allessandra Gurr.

For now, sports betting may not have an huge impact on individual athletes but that could easily change. Yormark and the Big 12 will be on the forefront to combat problems should they arise.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email