Ohio Gaming Regulators Move to Ban Former Alabama Baseball Coach from Sportsbooks
In a recent development, Ohio gaming regulators are in the process of barring a former University of Alabama baseball coach from the state’s sportsbooks after allegations surfaced that he shared inside information with an associate who then attempted to place a large bet against the team.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission sent letters to former coach Brad Bohannon and Indiana businessman Bert Neff II, notifying them of their impending placement on the Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List.
The letters detail allegations that Bohannon provided Neff with nonpublic information about an Alabama baseball game, which Neff then attempted to use for betting purposes. OCCC Executive Director Matthew T. Schuler wrote in the letters that their presence in a sports gaming facility or participation in the play of sports gaming poses a threat to the interests of the state.
The incident in question dates back to April 28, 2023, when Bohannon, then the head coach of the University of Alabama baseball team, allegedly shared information not available to the general public with Neff for the purpose of participating in sports gaming. Specifically, Bohannon allegedly informed Neff that Alabama’s star pitcher, Luke Holman, would not be starting in that day’s game against Louisiana State University.
Prior to the public release of this information, Neff reportedly attempted to wager over $100,000 that the Crimson Tide would lose to the Tigers. Staff at the sportsbook in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark grew suspicious of Neff’s substantial wager, which piqued their interest in a game that had otherwise garnered little attention that day.
Neff, a youth baseball coach from Mooresville, Indiana, was said to be texting with an insider via the messaging app Signal while standing at the sportsbook window when placing the bet in April. Notably, his son is a pitcher at the University of Cincinnati, but he was not believed to be involved in the alleged scheme. Two other members of the UC baseball staff were reportedly dismissed for their suspected awareness of the situation.
While the Ohio ban on Bohannon and Neff is not yet in effect, the two men have the option to appeal the decision and present their case before the commission. The deadline for an appeal is within 30 days from the date of the letters.
In a statement, Schuler emphasized that both Bohannon and Neff are entitled to due process, including a hearing if they choose, and any final action related to the Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List will take place at a public Commission Meeting.
Following the scandal, betting on Alabama baseball was temporarily halted by the commission, although this restriction was lifted on Wednesday. Bohannon was terminated from the University of Alabama in May of this year.