July 31, 2008
College Football Fantasy Sports on CBS Website
Posted by Christine Hurt

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education (gated version here), CBS Sports is creating a fantasy football league (no entry fee, no prizes, but we know how people use fantasy sports websites) using college football players' names and stats.  Fantasy sports are not considered online gambling (and therefore illegal) under federal law, so this may not prompt the "no gambling in college sports" argument.  (Fantasy sports, it is argued, don't pose the threat of corruption of sports because it would be incredibly hard for someone to payoff all the people necessary to ensure that one's fantasy team wins.)  A college basketball fantasy league is also in the works.

However, some are a little concerned about the "exploitation" of the college athletes, and some say that fantasy game may run afoul of NCAA amateurism rules.  Note that the NCAA receives more than $500 million a year from CBS just for televising March Madness, and there is no telling how much per year total.  And none of the money goes to any of the athletes, including the athletes that will be featured on the fantasy sports site.  The NCAA is looking to broaden its rules so that teams can capitalize more on players' popularity, but letting the actual popular player in on that moneyfest doesn't seem to be on the table.

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