The NCAA has been forced to relocate several championships from New Jersey because of a new state law allowing sports wagering on professional and collegiate games.
The five championships, all scheduled in 2013, include the Division I Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, Diving Regionals (Piscataway, March 14-17), Division I Women's Basketball Championship, Trenton Regional (Trenton, March 30-April 2), Division III Men's Volleyball Championship (Hoboken, April 26-28) and the Division II and III Women's Lacrosse Championships (Montclair, May 18-19). All five championships will be moved to new host sites and cities, to be determined at a later time.
The NCAA championships sports wagering policy strictly prohibits the conducting of any championship session in a state with legal wagering that is based on single-game betting. Single-game betting is defined as wagering that involves either a money line or point spread wager. This policy is in place to ensure the integrity of the game, provide consistency in awarding championships and to address concerns for student-athletes' well-being.
"Maintaining the integrity of sports and protecting student-athlete well-being are at the bedrock of the NCAA's mission, and are reflected in our policies prohibiting the hosting of our championships in states that provide for single game sports wagering," NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances Mark Lewis said. "Consistent with our policies and beliefs, the law in New Jersey requires that we no longer host championships in the state. We will work hard in the days ahead to find new suitable host locations which will allow the student-athletes to have the best possible competitive experience."
In July, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released proposed regulations concerning the licensure and operation of sports gambling in Atlantic City casinos and at New Jersey's racetracks and those regulations were published in the New Jersey Register today. In August, the NCAA and four major professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL) sued New Jersey state officials in federal court seeking to stop the state from implementing sports wagering. The suit is ongoing.
Statement from Rich Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC:
"The MAAC and Rider University are disappointed that Trenton will no longer be able to host the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional in Trenton this March or bid for future Division I championship events in New Jersey. The co-hosts have hosted many championships in the past including the 2012 Rowing Championships at Lake Mercer. Moving forward, we plan to continue seeking hosting opportunities outside of New Jersey, perhaps in Philadelphia where the MAAC and Rider successfully hosted the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
"In the next few days, the co-hosts will be in communication with the NCAA over transition issues related to the championship hosting in Trenton and alternate sites.
"It is unfortunate that sports wagering has impacted New Jersey's colleges and conferences in their ability to host NCAA championships in the state. That said, the NCAA has been very consistent in their opposition to sports wagering and how it reacts to the issue by banning hosting opportunities."