Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired Thursday, five days after suspicious wagering was detected on the Crimson Tide’s game at LSU.
The school announced that athletic director Greg Byrne has “initiated the termination process” for Bohannon for “among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.”
Jason Jackson will serve as Alabama’s interim coach, according to the school, which said it will not provide further comment due to an “ongoing review.”
The alleged suspicious activity took place Friday at the sportsbook at the Great American Ball Park, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
The OCCC’s investigation is centered on two bets on the Tigers to win from the same unidentified customer, multiple industry sources told ESPN. It was not known as of Thursday afternoon whether any potential connection existed between Bohannon and the bets in question.
The OCCC was alerted to the alleged activity Friday by independent Las Vegas-based integrity firm U.S. Integrity, which works with the OCCC and the SEC to monitor the betting market. U.S. Integrity alerted to its clients Friday, and the OCCC halted betting on college baseball games involving Alabama. The SEC has contracted with U.S. Integrity since 2018 and has used the firm to monitor all conference events, including baseball.
A spokesperson for the NCAA said Thursday that the NCAA takes betting on sports “very seriously” but declined further comment on the situation at Alabama because of the ongoing investigations.
“The NCAA takes sports wagering very seriously and is committed to the protection of student-athlete well-being and the integrity of competition,” the spokesperson said. “We will work with our partners to protect student-athletes and the sports they play. The association is monitoring the situation.
“Due to confidentiality rules put in place by NCAA member schools, the NCAA does not comment on current, pending or potential investigations.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Wednesday that the conference also is investigating 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.”
Pennsylvania on Thursday became the third state to order sportsbooks to halt betting on Alabama baseball, joining Ohio and New Jersey as investigations continued. A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said the ban on betting on Alabama baseball was put in place “as a matter of precaution” and will last until “further notice.”
Ronnie Johns, executive director of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, described one of the bets as “large” to NOLA.com and added that he didn’t suspect anything suspicious regarding LSU.
“The problem,” Johns told NOLA.com, “would have been whether someone on the Alabama side was suspicious of activity.”
Bohannon, who had been the Crimson Tide’s coach since June 2017, had a 166-124 record with one NCAA tournament appearance, in 2021. Twenty Alabama players were selected in the MLB draft during his tenure. The Crimson Tide are 30-15 this season and are slated to begin a home series against No. 5 Vanderbilt on Thursday night.
Regular-season college baseball does not typically attract significant betting interest or large wagers. FanDuel said it didn’t take a single bet on the game, and other sportsbooks also reported minimal betting on the game.