Before we heard from Mark Stoops and his coordinators at UK Football Media Day, Mitch Barnhart opened things up with his State of the Athletic Department Address. In speaking about a number of topics throughout UK athletics, Barnhart touched on an issue that’s very close to my heart: sports gambling.
UK’s athletic director was asked how much legalized sports gambling could change his life and the concerns it could present to the big picture of athletics, to which he said, “I think that there’s been gambling on sports for a long time to be real honest with you, legal and illegal. This changes the game. I think that there’s concern, to be honest with you, and I think in — patience, moving cautiously into this area, has a lot of merit. There’s going to be a lot of conversations nationally about, we must do these things to ensure. I think some of those things we’ve been doing on our own.”
Barnhart also said everyone needs be smart in adapting to the culture change if it’s legalized. He noted it will put pressure in unique areas like injury reports and player availability, and that there shouldn’t be a rush into it without caution and serious conversations.
“Once the Genie is out of the bottle, it’s really hard to get it back in,” he said. “So let’s make sure what we do, we do it with real intelligence and real pause, if you will. There’s not 50 states legalizing gambling right now and there’s not — obviously there’s some changes that have occurred. It’s now different. But I think we need to be really cautious and not race to a new spot without real thought.”
Adding to what Barnhart said, I can confirm that there is already illegal betting on sports. I know a guy.