Las Vegas' bids for getting NCAA champion occasions hit snag
A possible landmark change in the NCAA's position against putting champion events in Nevada now seems to be on hold.
Next month, the NCAA Board of Governors will think about an official proposal from UNLV and the Mountain West to stage three NCAA champion occasions in Las Vegas from 2019-22.
Separate from those is a proposal to play the whole females's Sweet 16 down to the Last 4 in Vegas. That would need to be approved by different NCAA entities.
Nevertheless, numerous sources have told CBS Sports the opportunity of those bids being approved have reduced of late. That's due to the fact that the NCAA continues to be a plaintiff fighting a New Jersey law passed in 2014 enabling sports betting within the state.
So far, New Jersey has failed on every front to execute the law. In addition to the NCAA, plaintiffs combating the law consist of the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, as well as the Department of Justice
The U.S. Supreme Court remains in the procedure of choosing whether it will hear New Jersey's appeal in the case. West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin have also submitted briefs with the court in assistance of New Jersey.
In brief, it's a case of bad optics for the NCAA at this time. Sources say the association would be hesitant to approve champion occasions in Nevada while it battles sports gambling in New Jersey.
The NCAA's long-time policy has been to keep champions from states that permit sports wagering. The week began with the Oakland Raiders announcing a move to Las Vegas. The new T-Mobile Arena in the city will be the home of the growth Golden Knights of the NHL next fall.
Numerous conferences play their postseason conference basketball competitions in the city. This past season, North Carolina and Kentucky satisfied in T-Mobile for a neutral-site game.
College types believed the momentum for NCAA occasions in Nevada-- particularly Vegas-- was inescapable.
" This is rhetorical," said Jim Livengood, who retired as UNLV's athletic director in 2013 and is now a consultant for Las Vegas Events, an occasion management business which has worked on the bid, "but wouldn't you believe that if there was a concern with NFL, it would not pertain to Nevada?"
The detailed bid for multiple championship events in the state of Nevada is believed to be the very first of its kind to be thought about by the NCAA.
" We're held to a various requirement," stated UNLV AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy, who has long combated for NCAA occasions. With hockey coming in and the wonderful Raiders, there is definitely no reason for this coming in."
A successful bid would essentially open up the NCAA to Las Vegas after years of the association avoiding the gaming Capital. The propositions consist of Las Vegas hosting a males's basketball local in T-Mobile Arena as well as wrestling and guys's ice hockey national champions.
If the board does not authorize the quotes, Nevada would be locked out till a minimum of the next bid cycle beginning in 2023.
" We're going to miss that four-year window," Livengood said. "The terrible aspect of that is it's not about Vegas, however the experience the student-athletes and groups might have."
In early March, Gonzaga won the West Coast Conference competition, kept in Las Vegas.
It has actually been just lately the NCAA seemingly shifted its stance regarding staging championship events in Nevada, which legalized sports gambling in 1949.
In December 2015, NCAA president Mark Emmert noted "what frequently appears to be a hypocritical position," by the association relating to Las Vegas. At that time, he forecasted there would be "robust discussion" amongst the NCAA subscription relating to Nevada.
Social mores have changed. Four Division I conferences stage their postseason college basketball tournaments in Las Vegas (Pac-12, WAC, West Coast and Mountain West). Those events aren't governed by the NCAA.
" [Our fans] probably wouldn't take a trip there if it wasn't in Vegas," stated Gonzaga coach Mark Couple of, whose group plays each year in the West Coast Conference competition. "It will be amazing to have an NFL group down there. I'm sure Las Vegas has actually been waiting for that."
As for the worry about Sin City's vices, Few said, "Gambling is everywhere.
The NCAA board will consider the latest Nevada proposal on April 25. That is after the NCAA Council meets April 12-14 when it would submit a recommendation.
" I think it was tracking well," one high-ranking NCAA official said of Nevada. "I think we've had these test pilots being out there a bunch, championship game that have handled it well.
" It appears like a logical place when you look at that region of the country. It's available. There are simple flights."
Since of the dearth of venues in that region, western cities haven't been applying to host NCAA men's tournament websites. From 2008-16 the West Regional turned in between Anaheim (Honda Center), Los Angeles (Staples Center) and the Phoenix location in every year but one (2010, Salt Lake).
This month, the West Regional was played in San Jose, California. Until this week in Glendale, Arizona, a true Western city hasn't played host to the Final 4 given that 1995 (Seattle).
Nevada is among 4 states across the country to enable sports wagering. In an unusual one-off, the NCAA did enable the women's basketball West Regional to be played in Las Vegas in 1991.
It is believed there has been no revenue-sport championship occasion played in the state given that then.
" There will at some point be NCAA champion occasions held in Nevada," Livengood said. "That's going to this content happen. It's not an if, it's a when."
The NCAA's long-time policy has actually been to keep champions from states that enable sports wagering. The week started with the Oakland Raiders announcing a relocation to Las Vegas." We're held to a various requirement," said UNLV AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy, who has long battled for NCAA occasions. 4 Department I conferences stage their postseason college basketball tournaments in Las Vegas (Pac-12, WAC, West Coast and Mountain West)." There will sometime be NCAA championship occasions held in Nevada," Livengood stated.