Purdue brought in Drew Brees to help handle its Citrus Bowl preparation amid a coaching transition, but not everyone’s happy about it.
New Jersey gaming regulators ordered sportsbooks to halt all betting on the Citrus Bowl and void all bets since Dec. 15 because “an individual associated with Purdue Football team” is in violation of state regulations, according to ESPN. That person is reportedly Brees.
Brees was hired by his alma mater as an assistant coach on Dec. 15, a role that allows him to have direct contact with players during practice and also participate in recruiting. The move was made after former Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm left the school for Louisville, with Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters replacing him.
Since his retirement from the NFL, Brees had been working as a broadcaster for NBC and a brand ambassador for online sportsbook PointsBet. It’s that latter role that reportedly has New Jersey concerned, as the state’s gaming officials said the individual was in violation of statute 5:12A-11 (f), which prohibits athletes, coaches, referees or director of a sports governing body from having “any ownership interest in, control of, or otherwise be employed by an operator.”
Brees took the PointsBet job in June 2021 and reportedly received an equity stake in the company. When he joined Purdue, PointsBet announced it was ending his partnership agreement in a statement on Dec. 22, but crucially didn’t address the status of his partnership agreement:
The full statement:
“PointsBet would like to congratulate Drew Brees on his appointment as Interim Assistant Coach for the Purdue Boilermakers. While this is an exciting next step in his career, after careful review, we have decided to end our ambassador partnership agreement with Drew. Regulatory and legal compliance, responsible gaming practices, and the integrity of legal sports betting are top priorities for our organization and this decision will allow us to uphold that commitment. We wish Drew all the best as he returns home to his alma mater.”
Purdue is scheduled to face LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 2., where it is a 14.5-point underdog after a season that saw it win a surprising Big Ten West title but lose to Michigan 43-22 in the Big Ten Championship game.