The NCAA says every college campus has a campus bookie and the FBI says there is no more vulnerable person in the world of sports than the college athlete.
Florida State University is trying to curb this statistic by encouraging students, “don't gamble on your future.”
In 2003 Florida State University found itself in the midst of campus gambling allegations when quarterback Adrain McPherson was accused of placing bets on games. He later plead no contest to those charges and was sentenced to 30 months probation.
Notre Dame soccer standout Kevin Pendergast wasn't as fortunate. He served time in federal prison for a point shaving scheme with a Northwestern basketball player.
Kevin Pendergast said, “I know the highs that come with winning. The lows that come with not being able to sleep at night because you owe money or you are loosing games.”
Pendergast is sharing his story with Florida State student athletes and coaches hoping they'll avoid the temptation. The NCAA believes illegal sports wagering exists on every campus.
FSU Athletic Director, Dave Hart says Pendergast's presence is part of an on going effort to keep students from rolling the dice. "Obviously, we've been through it gambling allegations and know the pain that can bring, we're just continuing out efforts to educate across the campus."
Pendergast knows first hand the high stakes that come with wagering and the shame and solitude you pay.
FSU athletes hope his message doesn't fall on deaf ears. Roxanne Clark, FSU tennis team, said, “I thought is was really important to what student athletes deal with I hope they will take his experience to heart for the future.”
NCAA rules say the minute an athlete is discovered to have made a bet of any kind on any college or professional sport, or gave information to someone who does gamble, the athlete is deemed ineligible to compete in college sports.