Cincinnati Baseball Coaches Axed Amid Potential Gambling Investigation

Written By Danny Cross on May 25, 2023 - Last Updated on May 30, 2023
University of Cincinnati Baseball

The University of Cincinnati has dismissed two baseball coaches after “an internal review of potential NCAA infractions regarding the baseball program.” 

UC announced in a statement on May 24 that assistant coach Kyle Sprague and director of operations Andy Nagel were relieved of their duties on May 17. 

According to Fox19, the investigation “may involve gambling.” The Fox19 report suggests that neither Sprague nor Nagel were involved in altering the outcomes of games.

The alleged infractions constitute the second time the Ohio sports betting market has had issues with college baseball this spring. 

UC baseball investigation found enough to dismiss coaches

The UC press release is not specific about which violations Sprague and Nagel are accused of, which is common among internal investigations of personnel issues.

“Although the review is ongoing, Sprague and Nagel have been dismissed based on initial findings,” the release says.” UC is cooperating with the NCAA in this matter. Since this is an ongoing investigation, we will not be commenting further at this time.”

Fox19 cited multiple sources suggesting that the alleged infractions involved sports betting. According to Fox19, Sprague and Nagel might have had contact with a parent of a player on the team who was gambling. If so, Sprague and Nagel would have been obligated to report gambling issues to the coaches, athletic department or NCAA. 

Sources reportedly told Fox19 that the allegations do not include impacting the outcomes of games or altering lineups. 

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is aware of the situation but is not investigating, according to Jessica Franks, OCCC director of communications.

“The Commission is aware of the University of Cincinnati’s decision to relieve two individuals associated with the baseball program of their duties,” Franks said. “The University of Cincinnati is not under investigation by the Commission.”

Ohio at the center of Alabama baseball betting scandal

On May 1, Ohio halted all betting on the University of Alabama baseball team after an independent integrity monitor flagged suspicious activity

Two separate bets made at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park raised the alarms. Both bets were placed on LSU to defeat Alabama on April 28. 

Ohio and New Jersey were the first states to prohibit betting on Alabama, and Pennsylvania soon followed suit. FanDuel Sportsbook took the team’s games down nationwide. 

Within days, Alabama fired head coach Brad Bohannon for, “among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.”

The suspicious betting activity was flagged by U.S. Integrity, a Las Vegas-based firm that monitors betting markets. Both the state of Ohio and the Southeastern Conference partner with the company.

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Danny Cross

Danny Cross is the managing editor of PlayOhio, where he covers the Ohio sports betting and casino industries, including the latest news on Ohio sportsbooks and responsible gambling in the state. Cross joined PlayOhio from Pro Football Focus, where he wrote and edited articles on the NFL, fantasy football and betting.

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