By Danny Emerman (Online Editor-in-Chief).
March Madness season: where sports fans frantically fill out brackets, Cinderella teams make remarkable runs, and students stream the games under their desk.
But for SHS senior Josh Rotman, this year will be the last time he fills out a bracket for four years.
“It makes me pretty upset. I always loved doing March Madness,” Rotman, a UMass Amherst Lacrosse commit said. “I don’t see why it should be a rule,” he added.
The NCAA prohibits student-athletes from participating in any type of sports gambling.
Rotman acknowledges that gambling should be outlawed for student-athletes, but says there should be exceptions for fantasy football and March Madness.
Recently, the NCAA suspended five Richmond baseball players for playing fantasy football. The rules for student-athletes are clear: you cannot play fantasy sports, participate in sports pools, or fill out a March Madness bracket if there is an entry fee and prize involved.
And they call the NFL the “No Fun League.”
Possible consequences of gambling as a student-athlete, according to the NCAA, include loss of eligibility, jail time, media scrutiny, financial hardship, and run-ins with organized crime.
Although the “scared straight” ramifications of gambling are clear, the NCAA does not really have the interests of their student-athletes in mind. If they did, they would pay them. The strict rules are truly in place to prevent corruption and fixing games.
The tyrannical NCAA micro-regulates their student-athletes to the point where it unfairly affects their lives. These unpaid employees can’t even win a couple extra bucks with their friends by playing fantasy football.
Obviously, a college basketball player shouldn’t be able to enter a bracket pool, but what’s the problem with a lacrosse or football player doing it?
While college athletes can fill out brackets for free, where’s the fun in that? Generally, college athletes should be able to participate in common fantasy games just like their student peers.
Rotman, who prides himself on finishing in the top-three in the previous two years, has Duke winning the 2017 NCAA Championship.
“I’m looking to win it all and take home the cash this year as my last hurrah.”