Much of the coverage of New Jersey’s campaign to legalize sports betting in the United States has centered on their confrontation with pro sports associations like the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. Often forgotten is the fact the NCAA is a part of the same lawsuits against New Jersey.
In many ways, the NCAA’s actions against the Garden State have been the harshest. New Jersey has been shut out of hosting NCAA tournament events until 2022, due to the state’s stance on online gambling.
The ban on New Jersey games due to sports betting has been in effect since 2013, according to a recent report by NorthJersey.com.
“Maintaining the Integrity of Sports”
When the ban went into effect, an NCAA spokesman said, “Maintaining the integrity of sports and protecting student-athlete well-being are at the bedrock of the NCAA’s mission and are reflected in our policies prohibiting the hosting of our championships in states that provide for single-game sports wagering. Consistent with our policies and beliefs, the law in New Jersey requires that we no longer host championships in the state.”
At the time, the NCAA pulled a number of events from New Jersey. The 2013 Division II and Division III national women’s lacrosse championships were taken away by the NCAA from Montclair State. The 2013 Division I women’s basketball regional semifinal and final games had been scheduled for Trenton, but they were withdrawn.
Rutgers University was supposed to host the 2014 Division I men’s and women’s swimming and diving at Rutgers University, but they were stripped from Rutgers. The same thing happened to the 2014 Division III wrestling at the College of New Jersey and the 2014 Division III men’s volleyball at Stevens Tech.
No New Jersey Championship Games until 2022
That policy has continued down through the years, and appears to be instituted for years to come. Of the 600 NCAA championship sporting events planned between now and 2022, none have been allotted to New Jersey. The NCAA has taken a political stance against sports betting, much like the NFL once took a stance against Arizona over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The NCAA does not discriminate against New Jersey alone. For years, the NCAA has avoided putting games in Las Vegas, for the very same reason. What’s interesting is CBS Sports reported on March 27 that the NCAA is considering a change of its stance regarding Las Vegas events.
NCAA Ban on Las Vegas Games
At the moment, the NCAA Board of Governors is considering a formal proposal by UNLV and the Mountain West Conference about hosting three NCAA championship events in Las Vegas in the years 2019 to 22. A separate proposal would see the entire NCAA Women’s Sweet 16 basketball weekend hosted in Las Vegas (12 games getting the field down from 16 to 4).
With the Oakland Raiders announcing a 2020 move to Las Vegas and the NHL placing the Las Vegas Golden Knights expansion franchise in T-Mobile Arena, it appears that the NCAA is at least willing to hear pitches for games in Las Vegas. Not so with New Jersey, it would seem.
NFL Games in New Jersey
While the pro sports league have had their issues with New Jersey, the NFL continues to have games in the Meadowlands. MetLife Stadium, the $1.6 billion stadium which hosts New York Giants and New York Jets games, is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In fact, the NFL hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium in February 2014. Though that event featured a 43-8 drubbing of the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL showed tremendous commitment to the stadium when it reversed a decades-long policy against hosting Super Bowls in open-air locations in cold-weather climates.
Rutgers University Games
The NCAA ban on New Jersey games is not 100% complete. Individual colleges and universities continue to host events, of course. Rutgers University hosts a full schedule of football and basketball games, as well as sporting events in other sports. The NCAA ban involves tournaments and championship events in which the NCAA Board of Governors chooses locations.
The irony of the NCAA’s ban on New Jersey sites is no legal sports betting has taken place in Atlantic City or Monmouth Park since 2013, and no sports gambling appears to be imminent. Because of the many lawsuits, no New Jersey casinos or racetracks have taken ever wagers on NCAA sporting events.