While the New York Jets remain in a push for the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2010, the team will be without wide receivers coach Miles Austin.
The former Pro Bowl wide receiver received an indefinite suspension from the NFL recently after reportedly violating the league’s betting and gambling policy.
According to reports, Austin allegedly bet on non-NFL professional sports and played online table games. Austin’s attorney indicated that the coach will appeal the suspension, which could last at least a year.
Austin suspended by NFL for gambling
As reported by ESPN, the NFL has been looking into Austin’s activities for some time. The league discovered the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver gambled on sports other than NFL and college football. Such is a violation of the NFL personnel gambling policy.
According to Austin’s attorney, William Deni, Austin received the suspension “for wagering from a legal mobile account on table games and non-NFL professional sports.” He emphasized that Austin did not bet on NFL games.
League rules prohibit coaches from any time of sports gambling:
“All NFL Personnel other than Players are further prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating bets on any other professional (e.g., NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, USTA, MLS), college (e.g., NCAA basketball), international (e.g., World Baseball Classic, World Cup), or Olympic sports competition, tournament or event.”
In addition, Austin also violated NFL rules by making online bets while at the Jets’ team facility, located not far from the NY sports betting landscape in Florham Park, New Jersey.
NFL rules: Coaches cannot bet on any sports, players can
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Austin infrequently bet around $50 on basketball games. He reportedly did not know this violated league rules.
After all, per Florio sources, NFL regulations allow for players to bet on sports other than football. Coaches cannot. And some coaches — particularly those who were once players, such as Austin — are unaware of that difference.
Austin went undrafted in 2006 yet still forged a 10-year NFL career. Most notably, Austin played eight years with the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he made two Pro Bowls.
After retiring, Austin joined the San Francisco 49ers as an offensive quality control coach. He then joined the Jets as a wide receivers coach after the team hired Robert Saleh as head coach.
Another NFL gambling suspension arises
With Austin, the NFL has its third gambling-related incident since state-regulated sports betting became legal in 2018.
In 2019, Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw drew a one-year suspension for betting on NFL games while in Las Vegas. He earned reinstatement following the ban in March 2021, but he has not returned to the league. A year later, he emerged in the revitalized USFL.
Most recently, and most notably, star wideout Calvin Ridley earned a suspension for betting on NFL games while away from the Atlanta Falcons and injured in Florida. Despite his suspension through at least the 2022 season, the Falcons traded Ridley to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The wide receiver still awaits potential reinstatement.