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Fiona Simmons January 12, 2024 2 min read
NCAA Vows to Combat Athlete Harassment in 2024 and Beyond
Roughly 10% of Division I campus administrators know at least one athlete who has been harassed online, highlighting the seriousness of the issue
The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) is concerned about the stress betting-related threats cause to young bettors. Athlete harassment by disgruntled punters continues to be a serious issue despite efforts to make a change.
Evidently, the proliferation of sports wagering has only exacerbated this problem, causing more and more angry bettors to contact athletes online and send them threats. Legal betting was just launched in Vermont and is on track to being launched in North Carolina in the following months, sparking further concerns about the mental health of young athletes.
Roughly 10% of Division I campus administrators know at least one athlete who has been harassed online, highlighting the seriousness of the issue.
In his inaugural address, Charlie Baker, NCAA’s president, expressed his concern about the spike in betting-related online harassment toward athletes and sports industry staff. However, he promised that the NCAA is doing everything in its power to mitigate this problem.
This included a recent partnership with Signify, a data science specialist that has previously worked with the NBA Player Association and the WNBA.
Threat Matrix Will Crack Down on Online Abuse
As previously announced, Signify will leverage its Threat Matrix AI-powered service to identify and analyze online abuse. Threat Matrix is set to launch in January and will monitor athlete harassment across some of the biggest social media platforms. It supports 35 languages, allowing it to break the language barrier and spot an even higher number of threats and harassments.
The partnership, which was announced in December, will see Signify focus on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and X, reporting cases of player. The comprehensive reporting procedures will notify NCAA, providing it with data that supports further educational and policy developments. Most importantly, Threat Matrix will report negative content and coordinate with social media platforms to remove instances of abuse.
Baker expressed the NCAA’s desire to crack down on the “ugly, nasty stuff” that’s being directed at young athletes. He vowed to leverage Signify’s solution to crack down on abuse and track it back to its source, if need arises.
Speaking of Baker, the NCAA president previously expressed his concerns about the negative impact of prop bets on college athletes. He expressed his concerns about these products’ effect on the integrity of the sport and said that the USA should prioritize the protection of young players.