A new rule implemented by Butler University saved campus-based Bulldogs bettors from a horrible beat Wednesday night – at least those adhering to the difficult-to-enforce policy.
Butler, a 5.5-point favorite over Xavier, held a 66-58 lead with 18.6 seconds left in the game. Then, this craziness ensued that can be appreciated only by gamblers.
That’s a 66-61 final, a loss for Butler bettors. Ouch.
But per a rule announced January 31, anyone associated with the university – trustees, faculty, staff, students and contractors — is not allowed to bet on Bulldog athletic events. That means any law-abiding members of the Butler community averted the bad beat.
The ban came at a good time for Butler bettors. The basketball team is 0-3-1 against the spread since it was enacted.
The rule, however, is nearly impossible to enforce. With mobile betting legal in Indiana, a student can just pull out their smartphone, open a sports betting app and make a wager.
The harshness of the penalties, though, may be a deterrent. Per the policy, students found to have wagered on Butler sports are “subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including dismissal under the Student Handbook.”
“We just wanted to prevent any situation like that from occurring to where there could be undue influence placed on a student athlete that would directly tie to his or her individual performance or a team performance,” Brent Rockwood, vice president and chief of staff, told The Butler Collegian.
Count senior Austin Lewis, who enjoys betting on sports, among those not in favor of the rule.
“I thought it was really, really stupid,” Lewis said, per The Collegian. “When (students are) in their outside time, it’s their time — they can do whatever they want to do with it. They want to bet on sports, it’s their legal right to do it.”
We agree. While the Butler rule follows a similar ban implemented Purdue during football season, it’s another misguided attempt to assuage irrational fears around the legalization of sports betting.