Posted on: November 16, 2023, 03:38h.
Last updated on: November 16, 2023, 03:38h.
Ohio gaming regulators are taking steps to ban a former University of Alabama baseball coach from the state’s sportsbooks in the wake of allegations that he shared inside information with an associate who attempted to place a large bet against the team.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week sent letters to former coach Brad Bohannon and Indiana businessman Bert Neff II informing them that they are going to be placed on the Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List.
‘A Threat to the Interests of the State’
The commission’s letters recount allegations that Bohannon gave Neff non-public information about an Alabama baseball game and that Neff attempted 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 T. Schuler wrote in separate letters to the two men, dated Nov. 14.
The letters cite an April 28, 2023 incident involving the University of Alabama baseball team, in which Bohannon, then the team’s head coach, “shared information not available to the general public … for the purpose of participating in sports gaming.”
Bohannon allegedly told Neff that Alabama’s star pitcher, Luke Holman, would not start that day’s game against Louisiana State University, according to earlier press reports.
Before that information became public, Neff attempted to wager more than $100,000 in cash that the Crimson Tide would fall to the Tigers, according to previous reports. Staff at the sportsbook in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark were suspicious of Neff’s hefty wager on a game that otherwise had drawn little interest that day, and Neff allegedly implied that he had received an insider tip on the game.
Neff, a youth baseball coach from Mooresville, Ind., was allegedly texting with via the messaging app Signal while he was standing at the sportsbook window in April. His son is a pitcher at the University of Cincinnati but wasn’t believed to be involved in the alleged scheme, according to press reports. Two other members of the UC baseball staff were fired in May, allegedly for being aware of it.
The Ohio ban is not yet in effect, and the two men will have an opportunity to appeal the decision and plead their case before the commission, if they wish. An appeal must be filed within 30 days.
“The Commission has initiated the process of adding Brad Bohannon and Bert Neff, Jr. to Ohio’s Sports Gaming Involuntary Exclusion List, as their presence and/or participation in sports gaming poses a threat to the interests of the state and the effective regulation of sports gaming,” Schuler said in a statement this week. “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.”
The commission halted betting on Alabama baseball in the immediate wake of the scandal, but that order expired Wednesday, ESPN reported.
Bohannon was fired from the University of Alabama in May of this year.