Alabama Baseball Betting Scandal Puts Industry Watchdog US Integrity in Spotlight

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The University of Alabama is in the process of firing baseball coach Brad Bohannon after suspicious betting activity prompted Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania regulators to suspend betting on the Crimson Tide.

In a press release issued by the University of Alabama on Thursday, the school announced the basis for Bohannon’s impending termination.

“Alabama director of athletics Greg Byrne announced he has initiated the termination process for head baseball coach Brad Bohannon for, among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees. Bohannon has been relieved of all duties and Jason Jackson will serve as the interim head coach. There will be no further comment at this time pending an ongoing review.”

What’s Known About Suspicious Bets on Alabama-LSU Baseball Game

ESPN first reported that industry watchdog US Integrity raised red flags about last Friday’s baseball game between Alabama and LSU. The top-seeded Tigers defeated Alabama, 8-6, after the Crimson Tide’s scheduled starting pitcher was scratched with back tightness shortly before the game started.

Gaming Today reached out to US Integrity founder Matt Holt for comment on Wednesday. Holt politely declined citing the ongoing investigation.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission was the first to suspend betting on Alabama games because the alleged suspicious wagers were placed on Alabama-LSU in the state.

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told Nola.com that state officials were informed about suspicious bets on the Alabama-LSU game last Friday.

“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.”

US Integrity Helps Safeguard College Sports Betting

US Integrity works with college conferences including the SEC (and pro sports leagues) to detect abnormalities in betting activities. In December, Holt was a guest speaker at SportsBusiness Journal’s Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in Las Vegas.

Holt spoke then about US Integrity’s work in alleviating risks related to insider information in the college sports betting space. While his comments came months before the Alabama baseball situation, they are indicative of his company’s ongoing contributions in the college betting ecosystem.

“If you’re a gambling syndicate, and you know that Coach A never releases information, that also means that the oddsmakers, bookmakers, and sportsbooks also won’t get that information,” Holt said. “Thus, it’s more valuable. (Syndicates could say), ‘We’re going to spend our time, resources, and ability to try and send bribes to those players, coaches, and equipment managers because that information has more value.’”

For college football, to cite one example, Holt suggested that injury reports can simply list players as available or unavailable without publicly disclosing specific injury or suspension details.

A good bet to make now? Expect to see US Integrity become even more prominent in the collegiate ranks moving forward.

About the Author
Kris Johnson

Kris Johnson

Senior Writer
Kris Johnson is a senior writer at Gaming Today with more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist. Johnson's work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and other publications. He also authored a sports betting novel titled The Endgame.

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