States Take Alabama Baseball Games Off Betting Boards Amid Scandal
Alabama baseball continues to be taken off betting boards in numerous states following the scandal and investigation into the LSU game on April 28.
ESPN reported Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohanon was connected to a person who placed two large moneyline wagers on LSU at Ohio sportsbooks before it was announced Alabama starting pitcher Luke Holman, would be scratched from pitching. Holman was replaced by sophomore Hagan Banks, who hadn’t started a game since March 16. LSU won 8-6 and the university fired Bohannon.
"The NCAA takes sports wagering very seriously and is committed to the protection of student-athlete well-being and the integrity of competition," a spokesperson for the NCAA 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."
Bohanon Connected to Suspicious Bets
According to ESPN, the alleged suspicious activity took place at the sportsbook at the Great American Ball Park. Sportsbook surveillance footage shows the person who placed the bets was in contact with Bohanon.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement after Bohannon was terminated.
"The University of Alabama has taken swift action after information about baseball sports wagering activity was questioned by industry regulators," Sankey said. "Ensuring the integrity of athletic competition is our highest priority, and for that purpose the SEC monitors gambling activity through its relationship with US Integrity and has done so since 2018. There must be zero tolerance for activity that puts into question the integrity of competition. We will remain in communication with the University throughout its ongoing review and will have no further comment at this time."
States Stop Taking Bets on Alabama Baseball
Indiana gaming regulators were also notified of suspicious bets on Alabama that were placed within the state. The state decided to cease future betting on the team and refund any futures wagers on Alabama.
In addition to Indiana and Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts sportsbooks stopped betting on Alabama. Massachusetts Gaming Commissioner Eileen O’Brien brought up the issue at Thursday’s MGC meeting, and Bruce Brand, the director of sports wagering said he knew the six Massachusetts sportsbook operators had already halted betting on the team’s games.
“At this point, I don’t think that we really need to take action, but we continue to keep a close eye on it,” Band said. “In a couple of jurisdictions, there were some issues, but in Massachusetts, I haven’t seen wagers that are potential problems for us at this time.”
Band also said the MGC gets about 15 to 20 alerts per week that could possibly relate to sports offered in Massachusetts, but “a lot of them don’t pan out.”
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