Alabama announced Thursday that it had fired baseball coach Brad Bohannon.
The school said in a statement that Bohannon was fired for “among other things, violating the standards, duties and responsibilities expected of university employees.” His firing comes as investigations had begun in Ohio and New Jersey after betting on Alabama games was halted earlier this week because of what regulators saw as suspicious betting activity.
Ohio halted action on Alabama games on Monday after receiving information from a state casino commission integrity board member about bets on Alabama’s game against LSU on Friday. The Crimson Tide lost 8-6 to the Tigers.
Louisiana’s gaming control board told NOLA.com that two bets in Cincinnati had alerted regulators in that state. Both of the bets included LSU wins. The Tigers were -245 to win.
Ronnie Johns said he and his board were monitoring the situation after the state of Ohio banned sportsbooks from taking bets on Alabama baseball after suspicious activity was detected Friday night.
"There were a couple of bets made in Cincinnati, Ohio," Johns said. "One was on a parlay which involved the LSU-Alabama game, and then there was another straight-up (money line) bet. I was told it was a large bet that involved LSU-Alabama.”
ESPN reported that both bets were made at the sportsbook at the Great American Ball Park, where surveillance video allegedly indicated the person who made the bets was communicating with Bohannan.
New Jersey then followed Ohio with its suspension of Alabama baseball betting and Pennsylvania halted betting on Alabama games on Thursday. Wednesday night, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement about what was transpiring. College baseball typically sees little regular-season wagering.
“We are aware of reports related to the suspension of wagering on Alabama baseball games,” Sankey said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor available information and any regulatory activity. As many states have acted to legalize sports gambling, we are reminded of the threats gambling may pose to competitive integrity. Together with our member universities, we will continue to emphasize the importance of regulating, overseeing and providing education related to sports gambling activity.”
Bohannon, 47, had been Alabama’s coach since 2018 and was an assistant at Wake Forest, Kentucky and Auburn before getting the job.
Alabama said that assistant coach Jason Jackson would be the interim coach after Bohannon’s firing. Alabama enters Thursday night’s game against Vanderbilt at 30-15 overall and 9-12 in the SEC.
Less than a month ago, Bohannon, Jackson and an athletic trainer were sued by a former player over the way the player says they handled his injuries. Johnny Blake Bennett accused the three of mishandling a rib injury he suffered in 2019 before being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Bennett says that Bohannon pulled his scholarship while he was rehabbing the injury.