Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired last week as allegations of suspicious betting patterns dogged the college baseball world. Details of the bets, who placed them, and how much they were for, are still emerging, but the case points to the perils emerging for athletes and coaches who involve themselves in wagering on their own sports.
The emerging scandal surrounding Bohannon is centered, according to ESPN.com, on two wagers that were placed at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnatti, where the the University of Alabama Crimson Tide were taking on the Louisiana State University Tigers as part of tournament. Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) were alerted Friday to the suspicious activity by U.S. Integrity, an integrity monitoring service that’s contracted with the SEC.
While details of the wagers haven’t been announced yet, other details that don’t look particularly good have emerged. ESPN reports that Alabama’s starting pitcher, Luke Holman, was pulled from the roster at the last minute because of a back injury. His replacement Hagan Banks, a sophomore, is a considerably less experienced player who led the Crimson Tide to an 8-6 loss against the LSU Tigers.
Though Ronnie Johns, executive director of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board described them as “large”, the size of the bet doesn’t matter since the NCAA has a blanket ban on employee sports betting.
Whatever details emerge will likely not be good for Bohannon, who was terminated from his position almost as soon as the allegations emerged.
A statement from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey hammered home the league’s views on employee wagering saying, “The University of Alabama has taken swift action after information about baseball sports wagering activity was questioned by industry regulators. Ensuring the integrity of athletic competition is our highest priority, and for that purpose the SEC monitors gambling activity through its relationship with US Integrity and has done so since 2018.”
Bohannon’s swift firing will certainly serve as an example for anyone in college sports who is considering trying their hand at wagering on their own sports.