Isaiah Rodgers Latest Example Of Regulated Betting System Working
This week, news broke that Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers is embroiled in a league investigation into sports betting. This latest NFL betting scandal highlights a growing trend across the sports world of players and coaches getting popped for betting. However, it also shows the regulated system is working to discover and punish corrupt and illegal betting by players and coaches.
Latest NFL Betting Scandal Details
The NFL is investigating a sportsbook account that was opened under the name of one of Rodgers’s associates. The account saw around 100 wagers placed between the range of $25-$50. Rodgers alleged sports betting violations include wagering involving his own team.
The NFL suspended five players for sports betting violations in April. In 2022, Calvin Ridley was suspended for the season for betting on NFL games while he was on the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL Sports Betting Violations Examined
Rodgers addressed the allegations in a tweet, apologizing for his actions. If the Calvin Ridley and other recent gambling situations are any indication of how the league will respond, Rodgers could be suspended indefinitely, for at least full season.
The league had just recently issued suspensions to players on the Detroit Lions (Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, Jameson Williams, Stanley Berryhill) and the Washington Commanders (Shaka Toney). While Berryhill and Williams were suspended for six games for wagering on non-NFL games at an NFL facility, the remaining players were suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games.
The NFL gambling policy is very strict. Not only is the league quick with its response to violations, but the punishment is also harsh. League rules specify that no active player is allowed to wager on NFL games. Wagering on one’s own team is even more of a violation and could mean even harsher sanctions on Rodgers.
“There is nothing more fundamental to the NFL’s success – and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league – than upholding the integrity of the game This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, and anyone else employed in the league. Your actions put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL. For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions.”Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner to Ridley
Alabama College Baseball Betting Scandal
The strict anti-gambling rules also echo in other leagues, especially at the collegiate level. This is why it was no surprise when Brad Bohannon was fired for his suspicious betting activity. Bohannon is alleged to have wagered on the Crimson Tide vs. LSU game. Sportsbook surveillance video captured a person placing wagers who is alleged to have been in contact with Bohannon. This is known as proxy betting.
In Bohannon’s case, he is alleged to have placed wagers on LSU to beat Alabama; betting against his own team. The wagers were placed at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The Ohio Casino Control Commission led the investigation.
The wagers were placed before it was announced that Alabama’s starting pitcher Luke Holman would sit out. Holman had back tightness and was ruled out just before the game. LSU would go on to win the game 8-6.
“The NCAA takes sports wagering very seriously and is committed to the protection of student-athlete well-being and the integrity of competition,” said a spokesperson for the NCAA. “We will work with our partners to protect student-athletes and the sports they play. The association is monitoring the situation.
What Is The Solution?
This is a product of accessible sports betting, but it underlines a system that is working properly to root out corrupt behavior. Regulators and leagues have done a solid job setting rules to deter sports betting violations, but these things will happen. Without regulated markets, the violations would be harder to detect at illegal, offshore sportsbooks.
Prior to Calvin Ridley’s situation, only four NFL players had been suspended for gambling. Since 2022, that number has skyrocketed. Could players have been gambling undetected in the past? Possibly, but at the very least, the current system is successfully discovering these violations.
Suspended NFL Players Who Violated Gambling Rules (Pre-2022)
- 1963 Alex Karras
- 1963 Paul Hornung
- 1983 Art Schlichter
- 2019 Josh Shaw
Harsh punishments are preventing players from continuing to violate betting rules. Let’s hope this recent string of sports betting violations serves as an example to players and prevents more from jeopardizing their future.