Ohio to Ban Former Alabama Baseball Coach From Sportsbooks

Posted on: November 16, 2023, 03:38h. 

Last updated on: November 17, 2023, 06:50h.

Ohio gaming regulators are taking steps to ban a former University of Alabama baseball coach from the state’s sportsbooks. The move comes after allegations that he shared inside information with an associate who attempted to place a large bet against the team.

Former Alabama Baseball Coach Brad Bohannon
Former Alabama Baseball Coach Brad Bohannon will be excluded from sportsbooks in Ohio, pending appeal. Gaming regulators say the ban is necessary in the wake of an information-sharing scandal.

This week, the Ohio Casino Control Commission sent letters to former coach Brad Bohannon and Indiana businessman Bert Neff II. The notes informed them that they are going to be placed on the Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List.

The commission’s letters recount allegations that Bohannon gave Neff nonpublic information about an Alabama baseball game and that Neff attempted to place bets based on that information.

“Your presence in a sports gaming facility or participation in the play of sports gaming poses a threat to the interests of the state,” OCCC Executive Director Matthew T. Schuler wrote in separate letters to the two men, dated November 14.

The letters cite an April 28, 2023, incident involving the University of Alabama baseball team. Bohannon, then the team’s head coach, “shared information not available to the general public … for the purpose of participating in sports gaming.”

‘A Threat to the Interests of the State’

Bohannon allegedly told Neff that Alabama’s star pitcher, Luke Holman, wouldn’t start that day’s game against Louisiana State University, according to earlier press reports.

Before that information became public, Neff attempted to wager more than $100K that the Crimson Tide would fall to the Tigers, according to previous reports. Staff at the sportsbook in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark were suspicious of Neff’s hefty wager on a game that otherwise had drawn little interest that day. Neff allegedly implied that he had received an insider tip on the game.

Neff, a youth baseball coach from Mooresville, Ind., was allegedly texting with Bohannon via the messaging app Signal while he was standing at the sportsbook window in April. His son is a pitcher at the University of Cincinnati but wasn’t believed to be involved in the alleged scheme, according to press reports. Two other members of the UC baseball staff were fired in May, allegedly for being aware of it.

Appeal Possible

The Ohio ban isn’t yet in effect, and the two men will have an opportunity to appeal the decision and plead their case before the commission if they wish. An appeal must be filed within 30 days.

The Commission has initiated the process of adding Brad Bohannon and Bert Neff, Jr. to Ohio’s Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List, as their presence and/or participation in sports gaming poses a threat to the interests of the state and the effective regulation of sports gaming,” Schuler said in a statement this week. “Bohannon and Neff are entitled to due process, including a hearing if they choose, and any final action pertaining to the Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List will occur at a public Commission Meeting.”

The commission halted betting on Alabama baseball in the immediate wake of the scandal. But that order expired Wednesday, ESPN reported.

Bohannon was fired from the University of Alabama in May of this year.