The University of Alabama has fired baseball coach Brad Bohannon just days after bets against his team were flagged by an integrity monitor.
Ohio halted all betting on Alabama on May 1 in response to an alert by U.S. Integrity, a Las Vegas-based firm that monitors betting activity. It was later reported that the “suspicious wagering activity” took place at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
This was the first time since Ohio sports betting launched on Jan. 1 that the state has issued an emergency order stopping bets on a given team.
Alabama initiates ‘termination process’ for Bohannon
The University of Alabama on May 4 announced that it has “initiated the termination process” against Bohannon, for “among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.”
Alabama pitching coach Jason Jackson has been elevated to interim head coach. Jackson joined Bohannon’s staff in 2017.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey told ESPN that the conference is monitoring the situation.
“We are aware of reports related to the suspension of wagering Alabama baseball games,” Sankey said. “We will continue to monitor available information and any regulatory activity.
“As many states have acted to legalize sports gambling, we are reminded of the threats gambling may pose on competitive integrity. Together with our member universities, we will continue to emphasize the importance of regulating, overseeing and providing education related to sports gambling activity.”
Bets at Great American Ball Park retail sportsbook sparked investigation
The suspicious bets reportedly were made at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park last week. An individual reportedly placed two separate bets on LSU to defeat Alabama on April 28.
LSU, the No. 1-ranked team in the country, did defeat Alabama in the game in question, 8-6. The moneyline odds for the game were -245, meaning bettors had to put up $245 to win $100 on LSU.
The chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Ronnie Johns, told NOLA.com that LSU was not being accused of wrongdoing, noting that the bets were placed on LSU to win.
“The problem would have been whether someone on the Alabama side was suspicious of activity,” Johns said.
Ohio, New Jersey led the way in halting Alabama bets
Ohio and New Jersey were the first states to pull Alabama from their sports betting lineups. Pennsylvania followed suit on Thursday. FanDuel Sportsbook took Alabama off its book nationwide in response.
Jessica Franks, the Ohio Casino Control Commission director of communications, told PlayOhio on Wednesday:
“The Commission received information from one of its certified independent integrity monitors regarding wagers made on University of Alabama baseball, and made the decision to prohibit all wagers on UA Baseball. We are continuing to look into the matter.”
Like the OCCC, the SEC Conference works with U.S. integrity to monitor all conference events.