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Slate: Will We Wager on the Wildcats?

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2016 Kentucky Oaks
Coming soon, to a stadium, arena or sports bar near you. Fancy hat optional.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Undoubtedly the biggest story in sports yesterday affected not only K-State, but all major organized sports in America, both professional and “amateur,” if indeed that is what NCAA competitions remain. The United States Supreme Court, in the latest of many, many cases filed by the state of New Jersey and various gambling enterprises in that state, struck down federal legislation known as the “Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992” (PASPA). Let’s take a minute to LOL at the moniker because, really? The NCAA, MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL need “protection?” All of them seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.

Nevertheless, their collective prosperity, which only promises to increase as a result of the decision, did not prevent the leagues from joining forces to contest the action. The NCAA, in fact, was the named party of opposition in the case, captioned Murphy vs. NCAA. It was joined by the major professional associations who argued that sports betting threatens the integrity of their games. (Again, in light of recent FBI actions, LOL.)

PASPA was a federal Act that effectively outlawed sports gambling in all but a few states, most notably, Nevada. Yesterday’s ruling held that the Act violated the individual states’ power to regulate legalized gambling. This train has been lumbering down the track for a while, with bingo, lotteries, sports pools, raffles, state-owned casinos and other gambling activities gradually gaining widespread acceptance. Other states had begun to resent Nevada’s de facto monopoly on sports gambling and the attendant revenue stream that was escaping to the desert southwest because of it. All of that—potentially, at least—changed yesterday. States can now decide for themselves whether gambling on sporting events should be permitted or disallowed.

Some of the resident lawyers may be along later to comment on what the ruling means for competitive sport as we know it. (Hint: Mo' Money, that’s what. And you know what follows Mo' Money.) In the meantime, the Mercury gave us the case basics, and the Mother Ship ran down six winners and four losers from the decision, with some of the parties (including the sports leagues, themselves) occupying both sides of the rubicon. The Kansas legislature has mercifully adjourned for the year, so we won’t have to decide where to put the betting window at The Bill until next February, at the earliest.

Previously

The big local story is K-State track. The women won their second consecutive Big 12 title, and did it with remarkable balance. Wildcat00 recapped the achievement.

Baseball

As noted yesterday, the struggling BatCats earned their own noteworthy achievement by taking the KU series, two games to one. All three games were decided by a single run. Sophomore starting pitcher Jared Marolf was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for throwing a complete-game shutout in K-State’s pivotal 1-0 win on Saturday.

The squad finishes its season with four on the road, first against the Shockers in Wichita, then in San Francisco, against the Dons. (Underrated mascot, IMO)

Miscellany

If you have an extra steer wandering around your backyard, you might consider donating it to support K-State athletics. A group of loyal fans and donors has been doing exactly that (well, except from the feed yards, rather than their backyards) for six decades in the “Steer a Year” program. The annual event has raised $400,000 over the past six years.

The crops team completed another successful spring season, finishing second at the national championship in Norfolk, Nebraska. We have objections, though. This year’s first place winner was Iowa State. We do not do this. We do not lose Farmageddon match-ups. Especially when the competition has to do with...well, farming. Flag on the play! And don’t pick it up, either.

Joking aside, congratulations to the team, which vanquished 23 of the other 24 schools in the competition, and will undoubtedly return to dominance next year.