Fantasy football fanatics may be violating school rules

Junior Sebastian Gonzales' fantasy football team is in first place.
Junior Sebastian Gonzales’ fantasy football team is in first place.

By Rowan Hart, Staff–

Fantasy football is nearing the middle of its season, leaving some players hopeful for a championship and causing others to give up on their team.

These players bet money on players every week, yet gambling is not permitted in the Davis High handbook. Are the players who compete for money breaking school rules?

“Fantasy football can be a form of gambling,” principal Will Brown said. “If there is money at stake, it is, and playing for money shouldn’t be allowed at my school.”

Gambling is listed as a level one offense in the DHS student handbook, and can  be punished through parental notification, counseling and even detention.

Sophomores Cooper Hosley and Yiorgos Callaway play in a fantasy football money league where the winner gets $120; both agree that fantasy football is gambling but were surprised to hear students could get in trouble for it.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Hosley said. “I would be outraged if I got detention. That’s your outside life.”

Playing for money is not the only choice. Many students play in no-cost fantasy football leagues where admission is free, and where there is no possibility of breaking school rules.

Sophomore Sean Gellen enjoys playing in a league where no money is at stake.

“There’s no risk in it; I’m not going to lose money. I just enjoy playing and having fun.” Gellen said.

But with money leagues ranging from around $120 rewards to $1,250 rewards, like the pro leagues in Yahoo, most players choose to play for cash.

Sophomore Greg Silver, the commissioner of his fantasy football league “Beef,” says playing for money makes it more fun.

“Playing for money adds more excitement and thrill. It also gives the players a reason to check every week. I’ve been doing no money leagues for the past two to three years, and sometimes players would just do the draft then never check again!” Silver said.

But gambling can also change the game’s atmosphere.

“Money makes it more intense. People don’t screw around. It’s strictly business,” senior Sachin Kumar said. “Plus at the end you get a nice reward if you win.”

Though money can work well as a motivator, sometimes even the loss of cash is not enough to drive a player. Senior Liam Neville played in the same league as Kumar last year but was not invited back this season.

“They said I didn’t take it seriously enough,” Neville said. “I tried for a little bit but my team sucked so I just stopped trying.”

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