Former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon received a 15-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA on Thursday after he provided a bettor in Ohio with information about his team.
Bohannon was fired in May 2023 after Ohio and New Jersey halted betting on Alabama baseball games. Action on the games was stopped because a friend of Bohannon’s attempted to make a $100,000 wager against Alabama at the sportsbook at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
“The school and enforcement staff agreed that the violations in this case occurred when Bohannon communicated — via an encrypted messaging app — with an individual he knew to be engaged in sports betting activities and provided insider information about the starting lineup before notifying the opposing team,” the NCAA’s statement said. “Specifically, Bohannon said [student-athlete] is out for sure … lemme know when I can tell [opposing team] … Hurry.’”
“Shortly after the bettor received that information, he attempted to place a $100,000 wager on the Alabama game, but sportsbook staff limited him to a $15,000 wager and declined his attempts to place additional bets due to suspicious activity.”
Per reporting over the summer, Bohannon had told his friend Eugene Neff Jr. that Alabama pitcher Luke Holman wouldn’t be able to pitch against LSU on April 28. Alabama lost the game 8-6. According to the NCAA’s findings, Neff wasn't exactly discreet about the insider information he had.
“This suspicious activity included the bettor’s insistent demeanor to get the bet placed and statements to sportsbook staff that the bet was ‘for sure going to win’ and ‘if only you guys knew what I knew,’" the NCAA's penalty report said. "The suspicious activity also included the bettor showing sportsbook staff messages from Bohannon and explaining that the messages were Bohannon informing bettor that Alabama was scratching its starting pitcher before the game and before Bohannon alerted LSU.”
The NCAA noted that Bohannon didn’t cooperate with investigators after he was fired from the school. The show-cause penalty doesn’t explicitly prohibit a school from hiring Bohannon, but any prospective employer has to make its case to the NCAA as to why Bohannon deserves to be hired. Given the NCAA’s findings, that would be a tough case to make.
"Integrity of games is of the utmost importance to NCAA members, and the panel is deeply troubled by Bohannon's unethical behavior," NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions chief hearing officer Vince Nicastro said. "Coaches, student-athletes and administrators have access to information deemed valuable to those involved in betting. Improperly sharing that information for purposes of sports betting cuts to the heart of the honesty and sportsmanship we expect of our members and is particularly egregious when shared by those who have the ability to influence the outcome of games."
Alabama baseball, meanwhile, has been placed on probation for three years and was given a $5,000 fine.
Bohannon had been Alabama’s coach since 2018 and was an assistant at two other SEC schools before he was hired. The Crimson Tide were 30-15 overall and 9-12 in the SEC when Bohannon was fired.