Football Georgia State

No. 5 Penn State football enters the field for the game against Georgia State at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision allowing states to legalize sports betting, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board received thousands of comments on how it should handle the issue going forward — including one from Penn State president Eric Barron.

Barron expressed concerns about preserving the integrity of collegiate sports, writing that unpaid athletes are especially vulnerable to bribery and other attempts to influence the outcome of games.

He said in the letter that Penn State would need time to “initiate and strengthen our policies and procedures related to sports wagering in order to educate, train and protect our students, student athletes, coaches and staff members.”

As a result, he called for the state to impose a two-year pause on in-state betting for games involving Pennsylvania colleges. While he stated his preference for a permanent ban, Barron said Penn State could work with the legislature to refine sports betting regulations during the waiting period.

To compensate for the costs of compliance training and enforcement that would arise from legalized sports betting, he proposed an “integrity fee” paid to Pennsylvania colleges.

University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Heather Lyke also endorsed the idea of an “integrity fee” in her comments to the Gaming Control Board.

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