As part of a deal with the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and Fanduel are dropping college sports from their offerings across all states, effective from the end of this week.
This dual decision follows months of talks between the companies and the NCAA.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said this in a statement issued on Thursday: “We appreciate and commend DraftKings and FanDuel’s action to stop offering contests involving college, high school and youth sports. This action culminates months of hard work between all parties to reach a place that is good for amateur sports and most importantly, the young people who participate.”
He added: “We will work diligently with our member schools over the coming year to ensure such amateur sports ‘carve outs’ are included in pending states’ legislation.”
In a statement issued by DraftKings this was said: “We continue to see tremendous support for fantasy sports in legislatures across the country, with nearly 30 states advancing thoughtful and appropriate regulations for fantasy play. We will work closely with the NCAA and lawmakers on a carve-out for collegiate sports in any proposed regulatory framework moving forward. DraftKings is committed to ensuring that fantasy sports players are able to continue to play these skill-based contests that bring them closer to the sports that they love.”
Over 30 states have introduced some form of fantasy sports legislation this year and the courthouse battles will continue for some time for the likes of DraftKings and Fanduel. There’s no doubt that with the amount of them these operators must be shelling out a pretty penny, and they were dealt a recent blow with the announcement that real money contests would be stopped in New York after lengthy debates with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The NCAA has not taken a stance on the legality of fantasy sports but is focused on protecting student athletes who the body feels may be made vulnerable should such contests be allowed to continue with large sums being staked.
Speaking to ESPN, Maureen Riehl Executive Director of Student Sports Protection Alliance said: “We’re not trying to stop the DFS industry from being legal or expanding … into states where there’s a question if it’s legal or not but if that’s going to happen, we want to make sure there’s a carve-out for student sports.”
The Student Sports Protection Alliance is a relatively new organisation with backing from the NCAA.