April 20, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- University of Notre Dame president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., joined three prominent Irish head coaches Tuesday as U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer (Indiana--Third District) called for a prohibition on legal betting on high school, collegiate and Olympic sporting events.
At a press conference at the University, Father Malloy, coaches Muffet McGraw (women's basketball), Bob Davie (football), and Mike Brey (men's basketball), and assistant athletic directors Mike Karwoski and Chris Reynolds (both work in the compliance area) voiced their support for a prohibition on legal betting on amateur sports. They were joined in their support by Bethel College president Dr. Norman Bridges and men's basketball coach Mike Lightfoot. Representing the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Doris Dixon called the proposal the organization's top legislative priority.
"The recent championship victory of the Notre Dame women's basketball team and the continued success of all of our Hoosier student-athletes represent the best of amateur athletics," said Roemer.
"The pressure exerted by high-stakes gamblers on their peers across the country poses the greatest threat to our cherished tradition of clean and honest competition."
Last month, Roemer and a bipartisan coalition of House members reintroduced legislation that would prohibit legal betting on amateur athletics. Presently, Nevada is the only state that permits gambling on college sports. In the previous session of Congress, a similar bill introduced by Roemer received the overwhelming bipartisan support of the House Judiciary Committee and the unanimous backing of the Senate Commerce Committee.
"In the last session of Congress, we came very close to putting the interests of student-athletes over those of the casino industry," noted Roemer.
"I urge my colleagues in Congress to heed the call of these fine coaches and college leaders here today and allow for passage of this important measure.
"You can't wage an effective war against illegal gambling, or even expect people to take this problem seriously, as long as the government sanctions legal betting in Nevada."
For more information contact Rusty Silverstein at 202-225-3915.