What Greg Byrne said about Alabama baseball’s gambling investigation

Brad Bohannon

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Sam Thornton

TUSCALOOSA – University of Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne spoke publicly for the first time about the termination of Alabama baseball’s Brad Bohannon on Wednesday at the Regions Tradition celebrity pro am. The program announced last week that Bohannon’s contract was under steps of termination following an emergency order by the Ohio Casino Control Commission pausing bettors ability to place wagers on Alabama baseball. Since then, several states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana have suspended wagering on the program.

“Obviously as soon as we knew there was a challenge, we dealt with it immediately,” Byrne said.

The suspicion of Bohannon’s involvement derived from the April 28 matchup between Alabama and LSU, where the Tide fell 8-6 but scored five unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The firing process of Bohannon and program investigation brings up the question of Alabama’s postseason eligibility if the NCAA were to sanction a suspension.

“We have full expectation we’ll be able to be part of the postseason,” Byrne said.

With an investigation ongoing, Alabama hopes to remain in the race for a NCAA tournament bid as a projected No. 3 seed. College baseball wagering is minimal in comparison to other sports offered on sportsbooks. In fact, roughly 75% of wagers placed on college baseball occurs during the College Baseball World Series, according to ESPN.

Sports wagering as a whole has become increasingly accepted over the last few years, which Byrne believes creates a societal issue for sports fans and athletes alike.

“I do think from an integrity standpoint within the game, to make sure that our student athletes, our coaches and our staff understand that there has to be separation there. It’s critical,” Byrne said.

That struggle of separation has been evident for professional and collegiate players in the past. Most recently, former University of Alabama All-American and current Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams was suspended for violating the NFL’s gambling policy with several of his teammates in April.

There is currently no evidence that suggests any Alabama baseball players involvement in the current gambling investigation.

“We don’t have any information that shows any of our student-athletes are involved,” Byrne said.

Categories: Alabama, College Sports, Local News