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New York Jets receivers coach Miles Austin was suspended for betting on basketball games, according to an NBC Sports report.
The report states that Austin, a former NFL receiver, was betting around $50 periodically on basketball games. He also didn’t realize that he wasn’t allowed to bet on other sports, due in part to arcane NFL rules.
Apparently, players are allowed to bet on other sports, but coaches can’t. Those differing standards aren’t always obvious to former players like Austin, who is now a coach.
The NFL, in an effort to be seen as taking gambling punishment seriously, applies its standards equally, regardless of severity.
Calvin Ridley was suspended for a year for betting $1,500 on a parlay while away from his team. He then got traded to the team he was betting against.
Austin received the same punishment for periodic $50 bets on basketball.
Austin Exposes Bizarre NFL Punishment Decisions
This incident is yet another of the NFL’s extremely confusing punishment decisions.
The league engages with sports betting with branding partnerships, but treats harmless $50 bets on other sports as an affront to competitive fairness.
But steroid suspensions get a six-game ban, with domestic violence also leading to six-game suspensions. DeShaun Watson infamously received an 11-game ban for his extensive massage experience.
Austin though, gets a full season for periodic $50 bets on basketball games, using an app from the league’s partner.
It’s an absurd application of an even more absurd punishment standard. But the league proudly announces these measures, while taking money from sports betting companies.
Far from showing that the league takes competitive issues seriously, the Miles Austin situation shows that the league doesn’t take logical enforcement seriously.