Updated Nov 15 2023: Former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon and his associate Bert Neff Jr. will be banned from Ohio sportsbooks, pending an appeal, over an alleged insider scheme involving a Crimson Tide baseball game, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
According to ESPN:
Matt Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), said during a public meeting that Indiana businessman Bert Neff Jr. requested and received non-public information from Bohannon on April 28 “for the purpose of placing a sports bet” and shared the information with one or more individuals.
Neff placed one bet and attempted to place another on an Alabama-LSU baseball game on April 28 with the BetMGM sportsbook at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Schuler said.
Sources told ESPN that Neff made a bet that included LSU beating Alabama and also tried to place a large straight bet — upwards of $100,000, according to media reports — on the Tigers to beat the Crimson Tide, which drew suspicion from the sports book.
The average American citizen can tell you that college athletics is about as dirty of a business as you’ll find in America, and that’s saying something considering the amount of filth stored at Fortune 500 companies across the states. There are decades of brutal agents, boosters, recruiters and universities to drive that point home, and a still unpaid workforce to sap any bit of the “amateur” sport’s altruism. So, it’s par for the trope that Alabama baseball is currently under fire for an alleged gambling scandal.
While the information is scarce and the story still murky, the details are paints an unflattering picture. Now-former Crimson Tide manager Brad Bohannon was fired from the school Thursday, with Alabama AD Greg Byrne citing the coach for “among other things, violating the standards, duties and responsibilities expected of University employees.”
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is investigating two bets placed Friday at Great American Ballpark’s sportsbook. Both bets were on the LSU Tigers, the Tide’s opponent, to win. Seen as Ohio regulators halted all baseball betting in Alabama on Wednesday due to suspicious activity, and Bohannon was fired on Thursday, it’s not hard to connect the dots. The Athletic quoted two people briefed on the investigation, the coach said It was found to be related to betting activity in Ohioleading to his dismissal.
Regular-season college baseball — shockingly — doesn’t draw a lot of big action, and FanDuel said it didn’t take a single bet on the LSU-Alabama game in question. according to ESPN. Pennsylvania and New Jersey also joined Ohio in banning betting on Alabama baseball.
I’d like to point out a detail you may have missed in that info upload, and that’s where the bet is placed: At a sportsbook housed in the Cincinnati Reds’ ballpark. The levels of irony involved in being able to legally gamble at the home of a team that once employed one of the most notorious sports gamblers in history, Pete Rose, are too many.
Add to that the fact that it’s the site of an alleged gambling scandal involving a baseball executive, and it’s a perfect detail to illustrate the sports industry’s laissez-faire approach to gambling across the board. The control panel flashes red, and the response should be better than Homer Simpson handling a 513.
The temptation is greater in ‘amateur’ athletics
College athletics is currently a post-apocalyptic hellscape populated by all manner of vile survivors, eager to compromise their morals for a chance to pluck the bones from the NCAA’s rotting carcass, and as such ripe for these kinds of scandals. There are more teams, more opportunities, less oversight and no ethics. Only the popular kids get NIL deals, everyone else is left to fend for themselves, and not every head coach at Alabama gets that sweet, sweet Aflac money.
If Gangreen could talk, and you asked it for the ideal conditions to infect, it would refer to the NCAA. If the NCAA were a bank, people would immediately wonder why it is unregulated, and how it hasn’t collapsed yet.
Many college athletes are extremely vulnerable, and they are the easiest kind of people to exploit. Besides broke college kids, degenerates are also points, and the sports industry has shown it can produce gambling addicts with the best of them.
During the recent boom of DraftKings, live lines and same-game parlays, there have been some offenses, most of which have been limited to bored, injured NFL wide receivers (oddly enough, also from Alabama). While we don’t know specifically what happened to Bohannon, the implication is that the integrity of the game was damaged. So it’s fun.