The father of a University of Cincinnati baseball player, Bert Eugene Neff, placed the wagers that triggered the dismissal of former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon, as well as the dismissals of two UC staffers, The Tuscaloosa News has confirmed with a source familiar with the situation.
Bohannon was fired May 4, less than a week after an investigation revealed that Bohannon was on the phone with Neff as he was placing large wagers on Alabama to lose to LSU on April 28 at the Great American Ballpark sportsbook in Cincinnati. Alabama’s top pitcher, Luke Holman, was later scratched from a starting assignment, reportedly due to a back issue, and the Tigers won the game, 8-6.
The Tuscaloosa News reached out to Neff via Facebook seeking comment but has not received a response as of Friday.
Asked Wednesday about how he felt prior to the start, Holman said his back was indeed bothering him that night. Nevertheless, UA relieved Bohannon of his coaching duties on May 4 and has moved to fire him for cause. Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne said the investigation is ongoing on May 10.
“Any time you have any challenges, you get the information that you can, you deal with it the most appropriate way that you can with the information you have at the time,” Byrne said on May 10.
Byrne said there’s no information indicating student-athletes were involved in gambling.
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The bettor’s identity was first reported by Sports Illustrated, which also cited sources claiming that gambling regulators also flagged suspicious wagering on the game in Neff’s home state of Indiana.
A spokesperson for the gaming commission in Indiana confirmed to the Tuscaloosa News earlier in May that it had also suspended wagering on Alabama baseball. In addition to Ohio and Indiana, other states confirmed to have suspended wagering on the Crimson Tide included Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kansas, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Along with the Alabama and Cincinnati cases, the NCAA will also investigate potential gambling violations at Iowa and Iowa State, where a combined 41 athletes have been suspended.
Also fired following Neff’s wager against Alabama are Cincinnati assistant coach Kyle Sprague and another staffer, Andy Nagle, for knowledge of Neff’s gambling activity, per SI. Neff’s son, Andrew, plays at UC.
Alabama has 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 its first three games in the SEC Tournament, and won 10 of its 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@example.com. Follow on Twitter @chasegoodbread. Reach Nick Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Identity of bettor who triggered firing of UA baseball coach revealed