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ISU AD: Student-Athletes Must Be Protected From Expanded Gambling

Quarterback steps to throw
Emily Bollinger
A proposal pending in the Illinois legislature would allow limited in-state gambling on college sports.

College athletic directors in Illinois have been closely watching the news out of Springfield in recent days.

State lawmakers have advanced several bills that could significantly change college sports. One would allow gambling on college sports.

Gamblers would have to place bets in person at a sports book and not online.

Illinois State University athletics director Kyle Brennan said his primary concern is making sure student-athletes are protected from any undue influences — and don't get caught up in wagering themselves.

Kyle Brennan
Redbird Athletics
Kyle Brennan

“A lot of people want different information when it comes to gambling or they want to put pressure on different in individuals and maybe student-athletes,” Brennan said. “That’s where your concerns comes in, keeping our student- athletes safe, keeping the integrity of the game safe.”


Brennan said he expects social media will likely be the main venue for many student-athletes to make money on endorsements.

Illinois could soon join seven other states in allowing college athletes to use their name, image and likeness for their own profit. Congress has not approved a plan for a national standard.

“The student-athlete on the open market, if they have the ability to make money just like anyone else, the tide has changed in our industry to where he don’t want to prevent that, we want to support that,” said Brennan, adding he doesn't support student-athletes being paid to play their sport.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever go down that road,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of (university) presidents, athletic directors around the country support that, or want to get into that.”

Brennan said ISU plans to bring in a consultant to talk to student-athletes about how to build their marketing “brand.”

“I would imagine our student-athletes would benefit most from social media type transactions and we have a company coming in to help them understand what those are and to coach us through that transition,” Brennan said.

He added much of it still depends on what rules the NCAA adopts.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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