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Purdue Could Follow St. Joseph’s In Banning Campus Gambling

hile sports betting is now legalized in the state of Indiana, games involving Purdue University might not be permitted to be bet on by those associated with the school. President Mitch Daniels hinted that this ruling would be coming around three weeks ago, and trustees will discuss the situation further at the upcoming meeting on Thursday.

In the meantime, Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia constructed its own policy, and it’s one that could serve as the blueprint going forward for schools as they try to keep a sense of integrity going forward. As of late September, the school’s handbook has a policy that applies to everyone on the campus.

As is listed in the handbook:

“Students, faculty, staff, contractors and members of the Board of Trustees are not permitted to place an otherwise legal sports wager on any team, contest or event, or individual affiliated with the Saint Joseph’s University Department of Athletics.”

The policy states that violations would be handled under Saint Joseph’s’ regular disciplinary procedures for student, faculty and staff. Contractors that are caught betting on Hawks games would have their contracts with the university terminated.

In The Works

With sports betting legalized recently in Pennsylvania, there are numerous ways to place wagers at a casino, mobile phones and computers.

“That just gave us the opportunity to start thinking about the issues very deeply before some other school had to do it,” said Jill Bodensteiner, Saint Joseph’s athletic director, who took over the role in June of last year. “That’s maybe why we’re a little ahead of the game.”

Bodensteiner said the initial discussion took place when she and other officials from the university drove from Philadelphia to Harrisburg to discuss the issues for the state’s new legalization of sports wagering and how that would affect the student-athletes.

“If a faculty member or a roommate could put a prop bet on a student-athlete, is that the kind of community we want to be in, where instead of supporting and challenging each other in a constructive way, we’re betting for and against you if you win or lose?” she posed. “Imagine the perception of a member of our board of trustees losing money on one of our teams. Or a roommate. Or a faculty member. It didn’t sit well with those of us in the van.”

With nothing to really compare this ruling to, Bodensteiner said she went to work on the first version of the draft in March. That was then taken to numerous different levels at the university before it went to the board of trustees in May and then into the student handbook late last month.

The NCAA already has rules against people with direct ties to playing or officiating in the games and to the athletic department from wagering on collegiate events or sharing vital information that could affect the outcome of a game.

“The legalities of this were really secondary to us,” Bodensteiner said. “I’ve heard the question: What kind of community are we? And what kind of community do we want to be?”

Bodensteiner said Saint Joseph’s would continue to tweak its policies as new situations arise. She also said that she’ll be tuned in to see how Purdue handles its upcoming discussion on it.

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