It seems as though everybody wants a piece of Doug Woolard these days. The newest Bull on the block — named USF’s athletic director last week — was named to the NCAA Sports Wagering Task Force staff Monday.
Geographically, USF athletics hasn’t had to look far for examples of gambling infiltrating the student-athlete landscape, especially with the wagering violations of UF’s Teddy Dupay and FSU’s Adrien McPherson. It’s correcting situations like those that will surely challenge this new committee’s resolve.
“We’re going to be able to examine the results of that study and hopefully be able to come up with some recommendations that will be impactual [sic],” Woolard said Wednesday in a phone interview.
NCAA president Miles Brand decided to form this commission on the heels of various findings in studies about the current atmosphere surrounding collegiate athletics and gambling. Some of the more astounding statistics showed 35 percent of male athletes and 10 percent of females admitting to betting on sports. This included 1.1 percent of college football players taking money for poor performance in games.
“The scope of sports wagering among intercollegiate student-athletes is startling and disturbing,” Brand said in a statement released in correlation with the announcement. “Sports wagering is a double threat because it harms the well-being of student-athletes and the integrity of college sports.”
Woolard, who was chairman of the Agents and Amateurism subcommittee for the NCAA, will join a revered staff including Notre Dame president Rev. Edward S. Mallory (the committee’s chairman) in an attempt to curb this recently revealed — but certainly perpetual — gambling problem.
“I know (this) is certainly an important issue right now,” Woolard said. “I think that it’s one of the things at the core of college athletics, to make sure that we are able to ensure integrity. That would certainly be at the heart of integrity, wouldn’t it?”
Sports and gambling, a mix that has tarnished many schools and ruined countless athletes’ collegiate careers — both educational and athletic –is on the minds of university higher-ups across the country. Woolard is no exception.
“This (study) is alarming and disappointing to everyone,” Woolard said. “But it’s an honor for Dr. Brand to have me serve on this committee and try to help in some way.”