An Indiana man whose son is a member of the University of Cincinnati baseball team is the bookie at the center of a separate investigation that led to the firing of Alabama coach Brad Bohannon and two members of the Bearcats baseball staff this month, two people familiar with the inquiry said. told The Associated Press on Friday.
The people who identified Bert Neff of Mooresville, Indiana, as being linked to both the Alabama and Cincinnati cases, spoke on condition of anonymity because neither was authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation. Was.
A number listed as Neff’s cell phone was not accepting calls Friday.
No details were provided by Alabama as to why Bohannon was let go after five years of employment. However, the firing came three days after a reported warning of questionable bets on the LSU-Alabama baseball game prompted Ohio’s top gambling regulator to ban sportsbooks licensed in the state from accepting bets on the Tide’s games. Pennsylvania and New Jersey followed suit.
ESPN later reported that surveillance video from the Cincinnati Reds’ sportsbook located at Great American Ballpark indicated the man who placed the bet was communicating with Bohannon at the time. ESPN cited multiple unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the investigation.
One of the people familiar with the investigation told the AP on Friday that Neff was the person who made these bets.
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne has since stated that the university has not received any evidence that any player was involved in the situation. A text message to Byrne from the AP on Friday was not immediately returned.
Alabama is competing in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament this week and looks set to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Earlier this week, Cincinnati relieved assistant coach Kyle Sprague and director of operations Andy Nagel of their duties on May 17, about a week after the school launched an investigation into possible NCAA violations.
The school did not provide details of whether it was being investigated and said it would not comment further. Voice and text messages to Cincinnati Athletic Director John Cunningham were not immediately returned.
But one of the people familiar with the situation told the AP that contact with Neff was the reason for the firing. It is not known whether Neff was betting on Cincinnati baseball games.
A third person familiar with the Cincinnati investigation told the AP there was no indication that games were being fixed or that Sprague or Nagle were betting on games.
Neff’s son, Andrew, is listed on Cincinnati’s roster as a pitcher but has not played this season. The Bearcats’ season ended earlier this week when they were eliminated from the American Athletic Conference tournament.
One of the people familiar with the situation said Bert Neff has been a youth coach at Indiana with connections to college coaches through recruiting.
Sports Illustrated was the first to report Neff’s involvement in both the Alabama and Cincinnati baseball shootings.
The Cincinnati case is the latest scandal related to gambling in college sports this month.
Less than a week after Bohanen was fired, the University of Iowa said that 26 of its athletes in five sports were suspected of betting on sports in violation of NCAA rules. Its cross-state rival, Iowa State, admitted that 15 of its athletes in three sports were also suspected of violating gambling rules.
NCAA rules prohibit athletes, coaches and staff from betting on amateur, collegiate and professional sports in which the NCAA holds championships. The rules are under scrutiny as legalized gambling expands across the country, and the NCAA said this week that it was planning to survey only athletes on the subject.
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