NCAA president Charlie Baker sends the right message on college sports prop betting

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky Visits FEMA Vaccination Site In Boston
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky Visits FEMA Vaccination Site In Boston / Pool/GettyImages

In a rare victory for the NCAA, president Charlie Baker came out and sent the right message about player prop betting in college sports: mainly, that it shouldn't be happening at all. Baker called on every state where gambling is legal to join Ohio, Vermont, and Maryland in banning the practice for the sanctity of the sport.

“This week we will be contacting officials across the country in states that still allow these bets and ask them to join Ohio, Vermont, Maryland and many others and remove college prop bets from all betting markets," Baker said (h/t "The NCAA is drawing the line on sports betting to protect student-athletes and to protect the integrity of the game — issues across the country these last several days show there is more work to be done.”

While there will still be issues after banning prop bets for players -- let's not forget how former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon received a 15-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA on Thursday after he provided a bettor in Ohio with information about his team after the bettor attempted to make a $100,000 wager against Alabama at the sportsbook at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati (h/t Yahoo Sports) -- games will have fewer distractions and potential fraud by allowing bets strictly on which team wins and the over/under point total.

NCAA finally focusing on right things after Charlie Baker's prop bet focus and NIL inaction

Baker seemingly wants to keep the NCAA together; something that's in danger if the ACC eventually folds and the SEC and Big Ten get too big before deciding to ditch the non-profit monolith altogether to stage their own postseason.

By focusing on banning one of the most dangerous threats to the legitimacy of games, and not focusing on taking money out of the pockets of players, it appears that Baker is focusing on all the right things.

Baker appears to be a much better leader for the NCAA than Mark Emmert based on his decisions of late. Whether that saves the organization from demise is unclear, but it is clear that Baker is at least trying.