Can't Wait For Saturday | NCAA president making the right ask in regards to gambling concerns

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Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmussen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves


This week, NCAA president Charlie Baker asked states where gambling is legal to place a ban on proposition bets involving college sports.

A logical step for the new boss, who has a number of critical items on his plate. The concern about the integrity of the competition is at the top of the list.

We want the games we watch to be on the up and up. We don't want to question whether an interception just happened or a missed three-pointer is by design.

I agree with Baker that the stress on the student-athletes has increased. The changes in sports recently — NIL, transfer portal, etc. — adds to the stress.

I would suggest college sports leaders take a look at their own organizations too. Be careful that they aren't a part of the gambling industry's structure. It would be wrong for a conference or school to make a profit from the gambling industry. Avoiding that conflict should be relatively simple.

And I think it is important to realize that gambling on college sports has gone on much longer than the recent years when it became legal beyond Las Vegas.

From talking to younger readers, I understand the pace of gambling has picked up in recent years. But it was always there. Now, partly because of the Internet, it is easier to access.

I hope it isn't as widespread an issue as some fear. And I believe the stakeholders in college sports will do all they can to maintain the integrity of the games we love to watch.