As first reported by the New York Times and expanded on by ESPN, the NCAA has canceled a meeting with officials from FanDuel and DraftKings, barred the companies from advertising at certain events, and asked if referees have been participating in contests on the sites.
All of the preceding was relayed in a letter that was obtained by both the Times and ESPN.
The advertising ban applies to the NCAA’s championship events, which would include the men’s and women’s Division-I basketball tournaments, but not the college football playoff, which is administered by the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame.
Acrimony between daily fantasy’s leading sites and college athletics’ governing body is not new.
In August, NCAA president Mark Emmert sent a letter to FanDuel and DraftKings requesting that the companies cease their college football contests. Neither site responded publicly, but both continue to offer college football. This week’s letter, reportedly dated Oct. 20, repeats that demand and asks again for a written response.
The companies had scheduled a meeting with NCAA representatives, but the NCAA canceled in the letter, citing the ongoing investigation and the FBI and several state entities.
The NCAA views daily fantasy sports to be gambling and has a policy against accepting advertising gambling businesses, a spokesperson told ESPN.
In September, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott sent a letter to DraftKings and FanDuel asking them to discontinue their college football contests, and added that the Pac-12 would not accept advertising from either company. He later retreated from that stance, saying they would continue to air DraftKings and FanDuel ads, as long as they didn’t mention college football contests. Soon after, the SEC Network pulled daily fantasy ads from its programming.
The Times reported that the NCAA is providing a list of referees or game officials to the sites and asking to be notified if any have participated in real-money contests.