With Iowa just weeks from legalizing sports wagering, the University of Iowa is pushing to educate its students, athletes and staff on the pitfalls of gambling.
“We’re going to do everything we can to educate and make sure we don’t end up in a difficult situation to the best of our ability,’’ Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta said Friday at the Big Ten kickoff, according to the Quad-City Times.
Barta said that legalized gambling presents some unique challenges for student-athletes. He pointed out that a friend might causally seek injury information from a player, or even offer money for such information.
“There are stories of those things happening in the past. We’re reminding our student-athletes not to put themselves in those conversations,’’ Barta said.
While players in particular might be susceptible, they’re not the only ones who will be getting education. According to the Times, staff members within the athletic department, including student staff members, will join coaches, assistant coaches and student-athletes in being educated about gambling-related issues.
“Sports betting illegally has been around for decades,’’ Barta said. “We’re doing doubling down, pun intended, on education. Right now, we have to make sure that our student-athletes are reminded of the ways that gambling can intervene in your life.’’