Stupidity & Technology At Core Of Alabama Baseball Gambling Bust

By Kenny Burgess Contributor

Updated 7/13/23 7:47am ET

There have been many betting scandals in the past but maybe none due to such ignorance and pure stupidity. The University of Alabama’s head baseball coach, Brad Bohannon, was terminated by the university following his involvement in the gambling scandal.

Bohannon was linked to “suspicious” betting activity on his team’s game against LSU on Apr. 28. On the morning of the game, Bert Eugene Neff Jr. walked into the BetMGM at Citizens Bank Ballpark with a large amount of cash and attempted to place a bet on the LSU Tigers. Neff is a youth league coach, and is friends with Bohannon.

The bet was reportedly more than $100,000 and the game had practically no bets on it prior to Neff’s attempted bet. This obviously raised red flags because the attempted bet was way over the house’s limit on college baseball. When the house pushed back and didn’t allow Neff to place the bet, he argued for it by telling them that he had insider information on the game. Yes, you’re reading that right — Neff revealed that he wanted to place the suspicious bet because he was given insider information on the game. 

It has since been revealed that Neff indeed had insider information right in the palm of his hand. Neff was texting with Bohannon via the encrypted messaging app Signal while at the betting window and let him know that Alabama’s ace, Luke Holman, wasn’t going to be able to pitch due to back tightness. A source familiar with the incident said that the surveillance camera picked up this conversation and when you zoomed in on the video you could see Bohannon’s name and the messages that were being exchanged. The source told Sports Illustrated, “[Video cameras] can see the [text] conversation back-and-forth. It couldn’t have been any more reckless.”

The university has terminated Bohannon on the grounds that he violated several university policies that forbid, “soliciting, placing, or accepting by Employee of a bet or wager on any intercollegiate or professional athletic contest.”

Neff also wasn’t the only one who tried to place a suspiciously large wager on this game. On the same day that Neff was attempting to bet six figures in Cincinnati, some of his gambling associates were trying to place large wagers at locations in his home state of Indiana. These bets have also been flagged and are under investigation. 

This truly is one of the biggest blunders in sports betting history and it seems almost too boneheaded. Neff not only was willing to tell the sportsbook that he had insider information, but was explicitly texting with the coach directly in front of the betting window. Maybe the next time Bohannon tries to give out this information, he should pick a better friend to entrust with this information. Because Neff truly did everything in his power to get caught and the stupidity throughout the entire process is baffling. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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