The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is allowing for schools and conferences to sign deals with data companies that sell that information on to sportsbooks, as reported by Yahoo Finance.

In going against its long-standing opposition to sports betting, the decision will allow large and small conferences to capitalise directly on the rush of money being spent by betting operators and data middlemen as more states legalise gambling on pro and college games.

According to an NCAA spokesperson, the Division I Interpretations Committee determined that an individual, school or conference can provide stats to sports wagering companies if that information is also available to the general public.

The move comes during changes inside college sports and its main governing body. As new NIL rights, anti-trust lawsuits and conference realignment become a focus, the NCAA is expanding its rule-making and enforcement obligations to individual divisions or conferences. 

This week, the group’s President Mark Emmert stepped down from his role in the middle of the contract, giving the association a chance to assess its future under new leadership. The decision  came less than a year after the group’s Board of Governors extended Emmert’s contract through 2025.

Currently, the NCAA has a sports data partnership agreement with Genius Sports, signing a ten-year contract back in 2018 in the aftermath of the PASPA repeal. 

Furthermore, Genius secured a deal with the Mid-American Conference (MAC) last month to ‘capture, manage and distribute’ official statistics.

According to Yahoo Finance’s report, the relaxation of NCAA rules could see the biggest divisions such as the Big Ten and SEC make vastly more money from similar deals.

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