Ensuring Fairness

Harris ’83 leading Fantasy Sports Control Agency
Thursday, October 29, 2015

ILR Distinguished Scholar Seth Harris ’83 is leading the Fantasy Sports Trade Association’s effort to develop standards, controls, auditing practices and an enforcement system.

Harris served as deputy U.S. labor secretary from 2009 to 2014 and was acting U.S. labor secretary.

In a trade association announcement Tuesday, he said, “The FSTA will continue to work closely with state and federal lawmakers and regulators as we develop and implement strong integrity programs.”

“We are confident that an independent control agency can prevent any unethical, dishonest, or unfair behavior,” said Harris, who began teaching at ILR in 2014 after being named the school’s first “distinguished scholar.”

Teaching “Public Policy Issues in Labor and Employment” Monday evenings in Ives this semester, Harris will lead oversight of an industry scrutinized by legislators and in media reports this fall.

Referring to the new Fantasy Sports Control Agency, he said, “We can save lawmakers and regulators the cost and effort of intervening so that they can expend their limited resources on bigger and more societally important challenges.”

Paul Charchian, president of the 300-member Fantasy Sports Trade Association, said in the announcement, “Secretary Harris is an independent expert of unimpeachable credibility who has dedicated his career to ensuring fairness and a level playing field.”

Fantasy sports fans build teams of make believe players, or actual professional players whose performances in real games are statistically assessed in virtual competition by fantasy players.  

Harris’s appointment to the top post of the regulatory organization further heightens the ILR School’s growing profile in professional sports.

Rob Manfred ’80 is commissioner of Major League Baseball and Gary Bettman ’74 is commissioner of the National Hockey League.