‘This type of behavior is not okay;’ Casino control concerned over hate messages sent to UD players

COLUMBUS — Ohio Casino Control Commission leaders said they’ve taken notice of comments made by University of Dayton basketball head coach Anthony Grant Tuesday where Grant said some of his players were receiving hateful messages by sports gamblers on social media.

>>RELATED: Legal sports betting highlights concerns for gambling addiction in Ohio

Grant made the comments Tuesday during his post game media availability after the Flyers defeated the Davidson Wildcats 68-61 at UD Arena. Grant called out fans, but more specifically online sports gamblers, for directing comments towards his players in the past week.

“There’s some laws that have recently been enacted, that really to me could change the landscape of what college sports is all about. And when we have people that make it about themselves and attack kids because of their own agenda, it sickens me,” Grant said in the postgame news conference, also streamed live by the team on Facebook.

“They have families. They don’t deserve that. Mental health is real,” Grant said.

>> PHOTOS: Barstool Sportsbook opens at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway

Social media criticism of the team and players was high following UD’s loss Friday to VCU. Dayton had led through the game, including by 16 points at one point in the game. The Flyers gave up the lead and lost the game in the final 16 seconds after a turnover led to the game-winning basket by VCU’s Nick Kern.

Wednesday, the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which controls oversight of sports betting in the state, held a regularly scheduled meeting where Executive Director Matthew Schuler addressed Grant’s comments, saying the commission is aware and will be having more discussions about the commission’s response.

“Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant recently used his post game press conference to address hate messages sent to his players received in recent days from gamblers upset about their loses. This type of behavior is not okay for anybody, in any venue— at all,” Schuler said.

>>‘Been waiting on this for a long time;’ Sports betting now legal in Ohio

Schuler noted the commission had been notified of similar issues involving Ohio State players. While Schuler noted the commission can’t control people’s behavior, they do have enforcement power to stop people who send hateful messages to use gambling platforms in the state.

“The commission does have the authority by the General Assembly to put people on an exclusion list for all gambling in the state of Ohio,” Schuler said in the meeting.

“I think it’s incumbent upon the commission to look into that very power that if social media is able to help us determine who these individuals are that are speaking out hate to kids— then the commission has the responsibility to make sure that those people cannot engage in legal sports gaming in the State of Ohio.”

“We can certainly have more discussions about a multi-faceted response that may be appropriate in this situation,” Schuler said.

News Center 7 is speaking with UD leaders today about Grant’s comments and the impacts on student-athletes and we’ll have more during our newscasts beginning at 5 p.m.

Comments on this article