The father of a University of Cincinnati baseball player, Bert Eugene Neff, placed the bets that led to the firing of former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon, as well as the firing of two UC staffers, The Tuscaloosa News confirmed with a source familiar with the situation.
Bohannon was fired on May 4, less than a week after an investigation revealed that Bohannon was on the phone with Neff while placing big bets on Alabama to lose to LSU on April 28 at the Great American Ballpark sportsbook in Cincinnati. Alabama’s leading pitcher, Luke Holman, was later dropped from a starting assignment, reportedly due to a deficit, and the Tigers won the game 8–6.
When asked on Wednesday how he felt prior to the start, Holman said his back did indeed hurt that night. Nevertheless, UA relieved Bohannon of his coaching duties on May 4 and decided to fire him for good reason.
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The gambler’s identity was first reported by Sports Illustrated, which also cited sources claiming gambling regulators were also flagging suspicious bets on the game in Neff’s home state of Indiana.
A spokesman for the gaming commission confirmed to the Tuscaloosa News earlier in May that it had also suspended baseball betting in Alabama. In addition to Ohio and Indiana, other states confirmed they have suspended betting on the Crimson Tide, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kansas, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Along with the Alabama and Cincinnati cases, the NCAA will also investigate possible gambling violations in Iowa and Iowa State, where a total of 41 athletes have been suspended.
Also fired following Neff’s bet against Alabama are Cincinnati assistant coach Kyle Sprague and another associate, Andy Nagle, for knowledge of Neff’s gambling activities, per SI. Neff’s son, Andrew, plays at UC.
Alabama turned its season around under interim coach Jason Jackson and is expected to earn host status in the NCAA Regional Tournament. The Crimson Tide won two of their first three games in the SEC tournament and won 10 of their first 13 games under Jackson.
Tuscaloosa News columnist Chase Goodbread is also the weekly co-host of Crimson Cover TV on WVUA-23 and the talkin’ Tide podcast. Reach him at [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @chasegoodbread. Reach Nick Kelly at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Identity of gambler who caused UA baseball coach’s firing revealed