NCAA Convention 2024

During the NCAA Convention held on Wednesday, a diverse group of leaders from all three divisions convened for an in-depth panel discussion addressing the issue of betting and college sports.

The session, steered by NCAA’s Enterprise Risk Management Managing Director Clint Hangebrauck, explored the current dynamics of sports betting in college sports, highlighting potential risks and suggesting practical measures for campus administrators.

The panel comprised experts from various sectors: Teresa Fiore, Vice President of Partnerships at EPIC Global Solutions, a firm collaborating with the NCAA to offer member schools a no-cost program focused on sports gambling harm prevention; Dr. Timothy W. Fong, a psychiatry professor at UCLA and co-leader of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program; Jonathan Hirshler, co-creator and CEO of Signify Group; and Mark Hicks, who oversees enforcement at the NCAA.

Key initiatives discussed included:

  • A joint venture with Signify to investigate online harassment in college sports.
  • Collaboration with EPIC Global Solutions, providing a wide-ranging gambling harm and athlete protection educational program, benefiting over 10,000 student-athletes so far.
  • Execution of comprehensive surveys among young adults and compliance administrators, with a student-athlete survey in progress, set to be unveiled this fall.
  • Introduction of a new e-learning module and adjustments to Division I reinstatement guidelines.

The session also offered a sneak peek into the NCAA’s upcoming “Draw the Line” campaign, set to debut in March, coinciding with Problem Gambling Awareness Month and the March Madness tournament.

Panelist Profiles:

Teresa Fiore, with a background in responsible gambling across public and private sectors, is the Vice President of Partnerships at EPIC Global Solutions. Her journey in this field includes roles with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and PointsBet. Fiore, a Massachusetts alumnus, is pursuing an MBA from Boston University. In her free time, she enjoys exploring New England with her family, friends, and dog.

Dr. Timothy W. Fong, a professor at UCLA’s Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, also co-directs UCLA’s Gambling Studies Program, focusing on understanding gambling disorders to develop effective prevention and treatment methods. A member of UCLA’s Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids Steering Committee, Fong contributes to addiction and mental health services within UCLA’s Sports Psychiatry Service. He holds degrees from Northwestern.

Clint Hangebrauck, the NCAA’s Enterprise Risk Management Managing Director, spearheads sports betting harm prevention strategies and manages the partnership with EPIC Risk Management. His prior experience includes quality control and audit roles within the NCAA, and risk consulting in a CPA firm and a Fortune 50 company. A graduate of Purdue’s Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. School of Business, Hangebrauck enjoys outdoor activities with family and friends.

Jonathan Hirshler, CEO and Co-Founder of Signify Group, brings 25 years of expertise in politics, online messaging, and digital strategy. Under his leadership, Signify developed the AI-based Threat Matrix service to combat online abuse against athletes and high-profile individuals. Hirshler, a Brunel University London alumnus, has collaborated with various international and national sports organizations and law enforcement agencies.

Mark Hicks, in charge of enforcement at the NCAA since 2014, manages internal operations, sport-specific development, and sports betting enforcement. His prior roles include shaping the NCAA Eligibility Center and contributing to academic and membership affairs. Hicks, an experienced educator and coach, has authored articles on academic fraud and NCAA eligibility. He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Vermont Law School.

James William

Based in California, James William writes about golf, tennis, UFC and the (sometimes complicated) world of betting on sports. A big lover of live poker, James also takes care of casino reviews for