Ex-Alabama Baseball Coach Banned From Ohio Sportsbooks Over Scandal

Written By C.J. Pierre on November 17, 2023
Former Alabama head baseball coach Brad Bohannon talking to his baserunner.

Ohio gaming regulators banned a former Division I college baseball coach and his associate from betting sports in the Buckeye State.

Former University of Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon and his associate, Bert Neff Jr., are no longer allowed at Ohio sportsbooks. The ban is pending an appeal.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) placed the duo on the Ohio Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List. Anyone on the list cannot wager with the state’s online or retail sportsbooks.

Regulators cited claims that Bohannon gave Neff non-public information about an Alabama baseball game. Then, Neff tried 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 Schuler wrote in the letters.

Bohannon, Neff will no longer be allowed to place bets in Ohio

As long as Bohannon and Neff don’t win an appeal, neither can participate in Ohio sports betting.

Last April, Neff went to the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. He tried to place a large wager on a college baseball game. He wanted to bet on Louisiana State University to defeat the University of Alabama.

According to media reports, Neff made a parlay bet, including LSU beating Alabama. Afterward, he tried placing a sizeable straight bet upwards of $100,000 on the Tigers to beat the Crimson Tide.

Sports bettors don’t typically bet on College baseball heavily, which sparked employee suspicions. As a result, those employees reported the incident and those in charge reviewed video footage from the sportsbook.

The surveillance footage showed Neff communicating with then-Alabama head baseball coach Bohannon. Then, Neff went to place bets on the game.

Alabama scratched its scheduled starting pitcher before the game, which LSU won 8-6. The moneyline odds for the game were -245. In other words, bettors had to put up $245 to win $100 on LSU.

Once regulators uncovered the scandal, the OCCC ordered licensed Ohio sportsbooks to cease accepting bets on college baseball games involving Alabama. That order expired on Wednesday.

Alabama launched an investigation and fired Bohannon, who held the position since 2017. Meanwhile, the Indiana Gaming Commission decided to ban Neff, a resident of Mooresville, Ind., from his home state’s casinos and sportsbooks.

Potential for a possible appeal

The ban from the OCCC hasn’t taken effect yet. Upon receiving the letters, Bohannon and Neff have 30 days to appeal the OCCC’s decision. Both men would have the opportunity to make their cases to the commission.

“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,” Schuler wrote in the letters.

This betting scandal had a residual impact on the college baseball world. Once Neff’s betting habits came to light, his connections to others caused them to lose their jobs.

In May, two Cincinnati baseball staff members were dismissed following an internal review of potential NCAA infractions regarding the baseball program. Former assistant coach Kyle Sprague and former director of operations Andy Nagel were reportedly discussing gambling with Neff, whose son Andrew was a pitcher for the Bearcats. Head baseball coach Scott Googins resigned on May 31, two weeks after Sprague and Nagel were fired.

The allegations did not suggest that either Sprague or Nagel were involved in altering the outcomes of games or lineups.

Neff was known as a high-volume gambler. He allegedly would risk upwards of $50,000 a day on various sports.

Photo by AP Photo / Vasha Hunt
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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at PlayOhio. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino, sports betting and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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