Alleged College Baseball Bettor was Clumsy, Reckless, Reports Claim
Posted on: July 11, 2023, 04:25h.
Last updated on: July 11, 2023, 04:34h.
The youth league baseball coach at the center of the University of Alabama insider betting scandal stuck out like a sore thumb when he tried to bet over 100K in cash on the Crimson Tide to lose to LSU. That’s according to new details about the case uncovered by Sports Illustrated.
On April 28 of this year, Bert Neff of Mooresville, Ind., allegedly walked into the sportsbook of Ohio’s Great American Ballpark, home to the Cincinnati Reds, and attempted to persuade staff to take his cash bet, SI reports.
Staff were immediately suspicious because the market on that day’s LSU-Alabama game had received very little traffic and the proposed bet was far in excess of the sportsbook’s limit on NCAA games.
Neff allegedly then hinted he had inside information on the game as if he hoped this would convince staff to take the bet.
Neff’s actions led directly to the firing of Alabama’s head baseball coach Brad Bohannon, who is alleged to have provided the information in question – that Alabama’s star pitcher, Luke Holman, had been ruled out of the game at the last minute because of back tightness.
Hagan Banks, a player who hadn’t started a game since mid-March, took the mound in Holman’s place. Alabama lost, 8-6.
The link between Neff and Bohannon was easily established because Neff was texting the now-former Alabama coach via the messaging app Signal while he was standing at the betting window talking to sportsbook staff.
And he was doing this so conspicuously that investigators were subsequently able to use security video to zoom in on his phone and read the massages, according to SI.
Sportsbook staff passed on their suspicions about Neff to Las Vegas-based sports integrity firm US Integrity. The company notified the Ohio Gaming Commission, which began an investigation.
Bohannon was fired by the University of Alabama in early May. It’s not clear whether he was wagering on the game through Neff, but he was aware that his information would be used for insider betting, according to SI sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Bohannon earned $500K per year for coaching the Alabama baseball team. Why he would risk it all to help a reckless, obscure youth baseball coach allegedly attempt betting fraud is a mystery.
Who is Bert Neff?
Neff was a talented college pitcher who represented Louisville and Indiana in the 1990s, but who blew his shot at the big time, according to SI sources who know him.
His son, Andrew Neff, is a pitcher at the University of Cincinnati, but isn’t believed to have known about his father’s betting activities. Two members of Cincinnati’s baseball staff, assistant Kyle Sprague and operations director Andy Nagel, were fired on May 17, allegedly because they were aware of the scheme.
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