Big Ten to ‘double down’ on sports gambling education

July 24, 2018

CHICAGO — Jim Delany doesn’t subscribe to the theory that college athletes will become more susceptible to corruption as states begin to legalize sports gambling.

The Big Ten commissioner, who addressed the media to open Big Ten Media Days on Monday, said the conference needs to “double down” on the educational element of sports gambling after a Supreme Court ruling this summer allows for states to legalize it.

It’s a practice that already existed for many years, however, and widespread legalization likely won’t suddenly open the floodgates for game-fixing.

“I think we’ve got great students playing football,” Delany said. “Trust them. They’re young. We need to continue to educate them about the challenges associated with gambling and the importance of the integrity of the game. But I don’t think that they are more vulnerable today than they were before (potential legalization).”

With the expansion of legalized sports gambling, Delany said he supports a required “availability report” on a national level rather than an injury report. It would include those who will be unavailable for reasons such as ineligibility or suspension.

What he and the Big Ten really want, though, is for college sports to be omitted from incoming legislation passed by states.

“I think that we would prefer a federal framework that either omits college sports from gambling at the state level,” Delany said, “and if that’s not possible, that there be some standardization of a framework so that college sports, high school sports, Olympic sports, those categories of sports receive some additional protection.”

UW releases updated roster

The University of Wisconsin released an updated football roster Monday in advance of fall camp, which begins Aug. 2, and a few of the position listings for true freshmen were notable.

Isaac Guerendo, a speedster expected to join the Badgers’ deep group of wide receivers, is listed at running back, while Jaylan Franklin will begin his college career as an outside linebacker rather than at tight end.

Stoughton High walk-on Brady Schipper starts as a wide receiver, while walk-on John Chenal will add depth at fullback.

Those who were with the team this spring but are no longer listed on the roster include offensive lineman Brett Connors, running back Sam Brodner, safeties Ryan O’Connell, Jake Benzing and Brad Laufenberg, wide receivers Chris Clementi and Sam DeLany and cornerback Kobe Knaak.

Number changes include wide receiver Aron Cruickshank (1), safety Reggie Pearson (3), cornerback Deron Harrell (8), safety Scott Nelson (9), safety Eric Burrell (25), outside linebacker Paul Jackson (38), outside linebacker Hegeman Tiedt (46) and long snapper Josh Bernhagen (52).

Taylor, Edwards earn preseason honors

UW running back Jonathan Taylor and inside linebacker T.J. Edwards both earned Big Ten football preseason honors Monday, which recognizes five players from each of the conference’s two divisions.

Taylor and Edwards were joined by Iowa tight end Noah Fant, Nebraska wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. and Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher as West Division selections. The five East representatives were Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary, Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke, Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins and Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley.

Taylor finished sixth in voting for the Heisman Trophy as a true freshman last season, rushing for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns. Edwards recorded 81 tackles in 2017 and opted against entering the NFL Draft a year early to return to UW for his senior season.

Four Badgers added to watch lists

Three UW linebackers were named to the Butkus Award watch list Monday, one of just two programs in the country with three honorees.

Edwards, inside linebacker Ryan Connelly and outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel earned a spot on the list, while defending-national champion Alabama also had three linebackers recognized.

Safety D’Cota Dixon was added to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list Monday, given annually to college football’s best defensive back. The senior recorded 55 tackles in 12 games last season and enters his third year as a starter for the Badgers.

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