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In age of legalized sports betting, SEC considers using injury reports

Legalized gambling places unprecedented value on inside information and creates strong temptation to use it. The SEC is considering doing something about it.

Via the Athens Banner-Herald, the SEC might use “availability reports” for football games. Conference commissioner informed coaches this week about the possibility.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said this about the possibility: “If it helps with gambling then I’m all for it. If it’s geared to getting knowledge out there that people are trying to get from our student-athletes and it protects them, I’m certainly for that.”

That's the key. People will try to get the information from players, whether by offering them money or otherwise putting them in compromising positions and leveraging them into cooperating. Likewise, others who know the information will be in position to provide that information to gamblers.

The Big Ten adopted injury reports last year, with schools required to submit them at least two hours before kickoff.

The information needs to be disclosed sooner than that. Hopefully, the Big Ten, the SEC, and all other conferences will incorporate injury reporting requirements that are more similar to the NFL's rules.

Not that the NFL's rules are perfect. Far from it. But they're better than nothing, which is what most colleges currently have.

Inside information, known in the stock-trading world as material, non-public information, continues to be one of the biggest potential sources of chicanery when it comes to legal sports wagering. Beyond the truth about player health, information about game plans and personnel decisions has real value when it comes to individual player props and related bets.

The biggest question is whether the sports leagues take steps to control the problem before or after a major controversy happens.