Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Scary stuff: Oddsmakers, fans taking bets on HS games

File this one in the ever-expanding manila folder labeled "Is putting high school football games on national television bad for the game?"

Izzy Gould of the St. Petersburg Times reports today that at least one offshore online gambling website is planning to post a betting line for Friday's game between No. 8 Seffner (Fla.) Armwood and regionally ranked Tampa Plant.

The game will be televised by ESPNU.

Personally, I think it's very much a positive thing for ESPN, CBS College Sports, FOX Sports Net and other outlets to bring the nation's top prep teams and players into the collective living room of the American sports fan.

But, apparently, a significant enough portion of folks who have an offshore betting account are willing to play a side on any sporting event that pops up on their television.

Even a high school football game.

Is nothing sacred?

According to the story, online bettors who patronize the website 5dimes.com also had a crack at playing last year's Miami Northwestern vs. Southlake (Texas) Carroll game before the site pulled the game off its board due to "backlash from the community."

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