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Ex-Bama coach sanctioned over betting scandal

Ex-Bama coach sanctioned over betting scandal


The former head baseball coach for the University of Alabama knowingly provided inside information to a gambler who bet against the Crimson Tide in an SEC game last spring, the NCAA said Thursday in announcing sanctions for both the coach and the school.

Former Alabama coach Brad Bohannon, who was fired in May, failed to participate in the NCAA’s investigation into suspicious betting on an Alabama-LSU baseball game on April 28, 2023.

The NCAA found that Bohannon violated wagering and ethical conduct rules and received a 15-year show-cause order. Any NCAA institution that hires Bohannon must suspend him for “100% of the baseball regular season for the first five seasons of his employment.”

The university received three years of probation, a $5,000 fine, and is required to retain a firm to provide comprehensive gambling education to student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators.

According to the NCAA, Bohannon messaged an individual he knew to be engaged in betting on an Alabama baseball game on April 28, 2003: “[Student-athlete] is out for sure … Lemme know when I can tell [the opposing team] … Hurry,” Bohannon texted the bettor, according to the NCAA.

After receiving the information from Bohannon, the bettor — identified Wednesday as Bert Eugene Neff — attempted to place a $100,000 wager on the Alabama game but was limited to a $15,000 bet by the sportsbook’s staff, according to the NCAA. The bet was placed with the BetMGM sportsbook at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, according to gaming regulators in Indiana and Ohio.

Alabama scratched its starting pitcher ahead of the game, which LSU won 8-6.

“Integrity of games is of the utmost importance to NCAA members, and the panel is deeply troubled by Bohannon’s unethical behavior,” Vince Nicastro, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the Big East, who oversaw the panel that reviewed the case. “Coaches, student-athletes and administrators have access to information deemed valuable to those involved in betting. Improperly sharing that information for purposes of sports betting cuts to the heart of the honesty and sportsmanship we expect of our members and is particularly egregious when shared by those who have the ability to influence the outcome of games.”

Neff, an Indiana businessman and youth baseball coach, pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal obstruction charges related to the investigation into the Alabama-LSU baseball game. Neff has been named as the bettor in question by gaming regulators in Indiana and Ohio.

Neff’s attorney Jeff Baldwin told ESPN in September that his client placed only one bet involving LSU, “a parlay.”

Federal authorities, however, said in the plea agreement that Neff placed another bet on the game with a competing sportsbook and passed along the information to at least four other gamblers.

Neff is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000 for destroy evidence, tampering with witnesses and providing false statements to the FBI, according to the plea agreement released Wednesday.

The Indiana Gaming Commission and Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) have announced plans to ban Neff from the states’ gaming institution due to the suspicious betting. Neff informed the OCCC that he will appeal.

Bohannon, who coached Alabama from 2017 to his termination in May 2023, also will be added to the OCCC involuntary exclusion list.


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