NCAA Issues Penalties for Ex-Alabama Baseball Coach

Last Updated on February 23, 2024

Former University of Alabama baseball head coach Brad Bohannon has been given a 15-year show cause order by the NCAA for violating ethics rules regarding a betting scandal. The university also received three years of probation and a $5,000 fine for multiple Level I and II violations. 

According to the investigation, the former Crimson Tide coach gave insider information to someone outside of the program, which was used to place a $15,000 wager on a game against Louisiana State University last April at a Cincinnati sportsbook.

The NCAA found that Bohannon was in further violation of rules after he failed to participate in the enforcement investigation by not taking part in an interview and withholding relevant information and his electronic devices.

Any school attempting to hire Bohannon in an athletics role in the future would have to present their reasoning in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions. If he were to be hired, the NCAA stated he would “be suspended for 100% of the baseball regular season for the first five seasons of his employment.”

The university must also have a gambling education and harm reduction program for college athletes, coaches, and athletics administrators provided by EPIC Global Solutions.

Bohannon was hired to lead the Crimson Tide baseball program in 2018. He then led them to winning seasons in four consecutive years, which included an NCAA Regional tournament appearance in 2021. He was fired in the middle of the 2023 season due to the allegations.

The Story Behind the Bet

Before the start of a Friday-night showdown vs top-ranked LSU on April 28, Bohannon sent a text to bettor Bert Eugene Neff Jr. regarding the status of star starting pitcher Luke Holman, who was dealing with a back injury. The Tigers were set to start Paul Skenes, the future top pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.

“HAMMER … (Student-athlete) is out for sure … Lemme know when I can tell (the opposing team) … Hurry,” Bohannon sent to Neff on an encrypted messaging app.

Neff attempted to place a $100,000 bet on the game at a Cincinnati sportsbook but was only allowed $15,000 after the staff became suspicious of his activity. The sportsbook also declined all other bets he attempted to place. 

Neff went on to tell the staff that the bet on LSU was “for sure to going win” and “if only you guys knew what I knew.”

Neff went on to show the staff the messages and insider information he received from Bohannon, which was caught by the cameras inside the BetMGM sportsbook. They were able to zoom in on the conversation and find the coach’s name, and the duo’s scheme was put to an end.

Bets on Alabama baseball were halted in multiple states after the bets were flagged by U.S. Integrity, a wagering integrity firm. The Ohio Casino Control Commission and SEC were also notified of the suspicious activity.

Relief pitcher Hagan Banks would step in to start the game on the mound for the Crimson Tide, giving up up four runs over three innings. Redshirt freshman Kade Woods followed Banks on the mound, resulting in the Tide being down 7-1 by the end of the sixth inning. LSU would go on to win the game, 8-6.

Neff, who is the father of a University of Cincinnati baseball player, pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing a federal investigation in the Northern District of Alabama, according to AL.com.  Court documents show that Neff destroyed his phone, encouraged witnesses to destroy their cell phones and wipe all conversations, and provided false statements to federal investigators.

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