A sports betting-related scandal has sent shockwaves through the University of Alabama baseball program, resulting in the firing of head coach Brad Bohannon on May 4.
Bohannon was reportedly connected to suspicious bets that were placed during the Crimson Tide’s game against LSU April 28.
According to the school’s game notes, projected starter Luke Holman was scratched by Bohannon an hour before the game in favor of Hagan Banks, which some considered to be a surprise change.
Alabama would go on to lose the game 8-6.
Meanwhile, bets placed on the game at the sportsbook at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati were flagged by a third-party integrity monitor and brought to the attention of the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC).
On May 1, OCCC Executive Director Matthew Schuler issued a directive barring the state’s bookmakers from accepting “any wagers on University of Alabama baseball effective immediately” amid an ongoing investigation.
Regulators in New Jersey and Kansas soon followed suit.
An anonymous source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to the Tuscaloosa News that Bohannon was believed to be connected in some way to the bets; although the identity of the individual who placed the bets is unknown, ESPN reported that the coach was in contact with the individual, pointing to surveillance footage of the sportsbook.
The same source also indicated to the News that no players are believed to be implicated in the scandal.
The exact amount of the bets placed has not been released, but Ronnie Johns, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, indicated to NOLA.com that one bet was a parlay involving the LSU-Alabama game and the other was a moneyline bet. Johns did not say which side the bets favored.
In response to the controversy, the school announced it was parting ways with Bohannon, who finished with a record of 166-124 in his six seasons as head coach.
A university statement said that Bohannon was being terminated “for, among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.”
Longtime pitching coach Jason Jackson was named interim coach for the remainder of the season. The team currently projects to be a 3-seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, but it is unclear whether or not the NCAA will administer further punishment on the team.