Impact of Gambling on College Sports: 2023 College World Series Incident

General Statements

The recent College World Series (CWS) in Omaha, Nebraska, faced an unexpected disruption when police were dispatched to protect one of the participating teams following a threat from a gambler. This incident has thrown a spotlight on NCAA President Charlie Baker's concerns about the increasing influence of gambling on college sports.

The authorities responded promptly, deciding to provide protection for the team to ensure their safety. The threat occurred during the 2023 College World Series, a prestigious national championship event hosted in Omaha. Louisiana State University (LSU) emerged victorious, clinching the 2023 national championship. However, the celebration was overshadowed by the gambler's threat and the subsequent heightened security measures.

Apart from LSU, several other teams participated in the 2023 CWS, including Florida, Virginia, Wake Forest, Stanford, Tennessee, Oral Roberts, and TCU. The incident has raised questions about the impact of state-sponsored sports betting, which has been legal since 2019.

Police Investigation and Impact

The authorities are currently investigating the Temple and Loyola (Md.) basketball programs concerning possible gambling improprieties, further underscoring the prevalence of gambling-related issues in college sports. Approximately 8% of football games have been flagged for potential gambling irregularities, indicating a widespread problem.

Speegle noted that he has never had a student-athlete admit to pressure from colleagues, but he acknowledged the reality of student pressures arising from gambling platforms such as DraftKings. The necessity for police surveillance at national championship events underscores the severity of the issue.

Online Threats and Student-Athlete Safety

Those targeted by online threats are often subject to a deluge of vitriolic abuse, significantly more than the usual fan rivalry. The shift from fan-based criticism to gambling-related vitriol represents a troubling development in college sports culture. In conclusion, the protection provided to a team during the 2023 CWS serves as a stark reminder of the growing impact of gambling on college athletics.

The NCAA and law enforcement agencies must continue to address these threats to ensure the safety and integrity of collegiate sports. The troubling trend of gambling influences and related threats calls for a concerted effort to shield student-athletes from undue pressure and danger, preserving the true spirit of college sports.


"There was a bettor who threatened a team."

"I think it's the NCAA's No. 1 concern."

"We see the amount of vitriol coming from gamblers and their losses toward these student-athletes."

"We should also believe that more instances of threats can lead to more instances of more people coming through on those threats."


As gambling continues to weave itself more firmly into the fabric of college sports, the need for vigilant oversight and protective measures becomes evident. The protection required during the 2023 College World Series is a glaring indication of the heightened risks student-athletes face. It is paramount for the NCAA and law enforcement agencies to proactively combat these threats, ensuring the safety, well-being, and authentic spirit of college athletics are preserved for future generations.