A lawyer for FanDuel told a top NCAA official on Monday that the daily fantasy company would not stop offering NCAA games.
The letter, e-mailed by the company’s chief legal counsel Christian Genetski to NCAA executive vice president Mark Lewis on Monday, and obtained by ESPN.com, noted that the site does “not plan to make changes to our games at this time, and certainly not without further conversations with you.” Genetski also maintained that the NCAA has no legal basis for forcing FanDuel to stop its college games because names when tied to statistics aren’t subject to the approval of the athletes and “cannot implicate their amateur status.”
The NCAA canceled a previous meeting with the daily fantasy companies and said last week that it would bar March Madness broadcasters CBS and Turner from airing its ads during the NCAA basketball tournament. The two networks have not responded to a request for comment, though the governing bodies of a certain sport normally reserve such right. Genetski said that the company plans to abide by NCAA rules, which would be to not use athletes pictures or names in ads.
For now, the NCAA has lumped daily and season long fantasy sports in with gambling, with Lewis referencing last week a previous communication the organization sent that maintained that the business of FanDuel and its competitor DraftKings could possibly violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The sites, and the entire daily fantasy industry for that matter, have used that act as a reason for their carve out that separates them from gambling.
In the letter, Genetski writes that the position is a curious one since the NCAA told a court of appeals in a case that “‘fantasy sports’ is an activity ‘the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 explicitly states does not constitute gambling.'”
But the NCAA bars participation for all athletes. Athletes who are caught doing so will face a year gambling suspension.
Genetski also says that he can tell Lewis, as he requested, if any NCAA officials are customers if he is provided with a list of names.