This week’s Supreme Court decision that opened the door to the possibility that gambling on sports could be legalized in South Carolina made a lot of headlines around the country, but it was barely a blip on the radar for the head coaches of the Gamecocks' most high-profile teams.
“I really haven’t researched it all. I don’t know the impact it’s going to have,” football coach Will Muschamp said. “I do think people were betting on college games before they legalized. That’d be a guess.”
Muschamp and men’s basketball coach Frank Martin addressed the media Wednesday night at Fluor Field before a meeting of the Greenville Gamecock Club.
“I don’t see how it impacts us, but I shouldn’t comment on it,” Martin said.
Martin pointed out that gambling on sports has long been legal in Nevada and said college coaches have been addressing the subject with their players at least since he got into college coaching 18 years ago.
“We spent countless hours addressing the gambling issue with our players the way it is, as the system has existed,” he said. “I can’t remember one year where there wasn’t an unbelievable amount of time spent with the players on this whole gambling thing.”
The Supreme Court recently struck down a federal statute that barred any new states from legalizing sports gambling, putting the issue into the hands of state governments, some of which already are researching the subject. South Carolina House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford sponsored a bill in the state Legislature’s past session, but the next time the Legislature can take up the bill is January.
“I’m sure if it gets passed, there will be some things I will have to study up on and be prepared for and be ready to handle that will be a little different,” Martin said, “but I’m not worried about it.”