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The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is taking the threat of sports wagering seriously. Believing that all forms of cheating via sports wagering undermines fair competition and debilitates individuals involved, the NAIA Council of Presidents has established a task force on sports wagering.

I am privileged to serve as the chairman of the 2005-2006 NAIA Council of Presidents Sports Wagering Task Force, along with Dr. Rosemarie Nassif of Holy Name University (CA), Dr. Thomas J. Trebon of Carroll College (MT), Dr. Ted Brown of Martin Methodist College (TN), Dr. Doug Hodo of Houston Baptist University (TX), Dr. Don Jeanes of Milligan College (TN), and Mr. Kevin Dee of the NAIA. The task force is developing sports wagering policy recommendations for the NAIA that focus upon athletics staff members and student-athletes of NAIA member institutions. The purpose of the recommendations will be to protect the well-being of student-athletes, to protect the integrity of competitive sports, and to protect the mission of the NAIA as an organization committed to developing “Champions of Character.”

NAIA’s “Champions of Character” program emphasizes Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Servant Leadership, and Sportsmanship. It is the only program of its kind on the intercollegiate level in the country, and it serves as a direct response to the continued decline of the culture of sport in America. Via “Champions of Character,” the NAIA reinforces not only athletic participation but also education for life.

Youth begin gambling at ever younger ages—now averaging about 12 years of age. Typically, sports provide the context of initial youth gambling experiences. It may seem like harmless entertainment to youth, but it is not. Youth also typically begin gambling because an adult opens the door for them. This is a sad story but one that we can change. I encourage you to check with your favorite college or university athletic department to learn what it may be doing to further honest competition and healthy student-athletes by prohibiting sports wagering on intercollegiate athletics.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

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