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NCAA suspends 5 athletes for fantasy football; Think tank releases report condemning PASPA

Twice weekly, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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Five University of Richmond baseball players were suspended the entire season by the NCAA for their involvement with fantasy football.

Right-hander Keenan Bartlett, a junior who Baseball America recognized in the preseason as the A-10’s third-best professional prospect, and senior infielder/designated hitter Kurtis Brown, a first-team all-A-10 choice last season, haven’t played for the Spiders. Bartlett is ranked among the top 100 juniors in the country after a strong summer-league performance. Brown batted .342 with 17 doubles and 35 RBIs last year as a Spider.

UR was 2-2 heading into Friday’s game at Pitt Field against Toledo. The five remain suspended as Richmond waits for the NCAA to address their status. Two sources said they were involved in fantasy football, an NCAA rules violation. The players’ fantasy football activity was reported directly to the NCAA, which contacted UR, the sources said.

A non-profit think tank issued a 14-page report advocating for the repeal of PASPA.

The libertarian-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute planned to issue a 14-page report Thursday that questions how alcohol and tobacco consumption are banned in most businesses while another “sinful” activity, sports gambling, is embraced by workers and their CEOs, especially around Super Bowl Sunday and the kickoff of the NCAA tournament.

Nevada is the only state with legalized sports wagering.

A few other states allow some restricted forms of gambling on sports.

“Gambling prohibitions … function as a form of social engineering that seeks to stamp out a certain behavior formally,” report authors Steven Titch and Michelle Minton said in their report, “Time to End the Madness around March Madness.”

West Virginia joins the list of states that have introduced legislation involving legalized sports betting this year.

The bill declares that “sports betting games” are “not unlawful” when conduced under the rules prescribed in the legislation, under the authority of the state Lottery Commission. The commission will set up rules and licensing fees pertaining to sports betting.

It also has a unique take on taxing sports wagers that would be taken in the state, with a tax on each wager instead of total revenue:

For each bet received, the gaming facility shall pay two percent tax of the total wager into the special revenue account known as the “Sports Betting Special Revenue Fund.”

The bill also makes it illegal to take bets on college sporting events and amateur events, including the Olympics.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal sports editor and sports betting reporter recorded an 18-minute video discussing sports betting.