Alabama announced that athletic director Greg Byrne has “initiated the termination process” for head baseball coach Brad Bohannon. This report comes just days after Ohio gambling regulators dictated for the state’s licensed sportsbooks to cease accepting bets on college baseball games that included Alabama. It revolved around uncovering suspicious betting activity from the Crimson Tide’s matchup against No. 1 LSU on Friday.
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Alabama Baseball Coach Tied To Betting?
Byrne stated the reasons behind Bohannon’s firing involved “among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.” Whether or not Bohannon directly partook in any sports wagering-related affair was unknown when this news was initially announced.
However, sportsbook surveillance video showcased that the bettor was in touch with Bohannon, according to ESPN on Thursday afternoon.
An alert was first issued by U.S. Integrity, an independent Las Vegas-based firm, with the Ohio Casino Control Commission and SEC to monitor the college baseball betting market. Ronnie Johns, a chairman of the board, noted alerts of a parlay on the LSU-Alabama game, along with a straight moneyline wager. The alert deemed them as “large bets.”
So how does an Alabama baseball game incorporate Ohio sports betting? These wagers, via an unidentified bettor, took place at Great American Ballpark — the home of the Cincinnati Reds. In October, BetMGM Sportsbook became an official sponsor of the club, opening a retail shop at the park.
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“As many states have acted to legalize sports gambling, we are reminded of the threats gambling may pose on competitive integrity,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on Wednesday. “Together with our member universities, we will continue to emphasize the importance of regulating, overseeing and providing education related to sports gambling activity.”
In late February, the Alabama basketball program was under fire as well. It stemmed from the handling of then-freshman star Brandon Miller amid an investigation. The Tide entered the 2023 NCAA Tournament with the second-shortest odds to win it all. They then fell to eventual runner-up San Diego State in the Sweet 16.
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