Alabama baseball jumped into the center of the sports world in the past week when news broke Monday of Ohio stopping wagers on the Crimson Tide.
ESPN first reported the story that night and, by Thursday, Alabama had fired coach Brad Bohannon. There is an “ongoing review,” according to a statement from the university.
One week since the game that started it all, plenty has been learned. Meanwhile, plenty of questions remain. Here’s what we know and needs to be answered.
‘HOW THE HECK?’ Alabama baseball fans react to coach firing
HOT BOARD: Who will replace Brad Bohannon? Here’s some head coaching targets for Alabama baseball.
What we know
Gambling investigation stems from LSU game
All of this began with suspicious activity identified with the Alabama baseball game against LSU on April 28.
Alabama starting pitcher Luke Holman was a late scratch, according to the UA game notes. Hagan Banks replaced him. Bohannon was quoted in the game notes saying Banks found out an hour before the game he was going to start.
The Crimson Tide lost the game 8-6.
Where suspicious betting activity occurred
The suspicious bets were placed in Cincinnati, a Ohio Casino Control Commission spokesperson confirmed to The Tuscaloosa News. ESPN reported the betting occurred at the sportsbook at the Great American Ball Park.
How Ohio became aware of suspicious betting activity
A certified independent integrity monitor provided information to the OCCC that prompted the suspension of bets on Alabama baseball.
On Monday, Matthew T. Schuler, the executive director of the OCCC, issued an emergency directive to sportsbooks banning “the acceptance of any wagers on University of Alabama baseball effective immediately.”
New Jersey and Kansas have also suspending wagering on the Crimson Tide.
As of Wednesday, Connecticut had not formally stopped all wagering on Alabama baseball, but its three licensed wagering operators, FanDuel, DraftKings and PlaySugarHouse, appear to have removed the option to bet on games involving the Crimson Tide, according to an email from a Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection spokesperson.
Brad Bohannon is connected to the suspicious bets
Bohannon, the coach of the Crimson Tide in his sixth season, has been connected to the suspicious activity, a source with knowledge of the gambling investigation told The Tuscaloosa News on Thursday. Bohannon has not returned requests for comment.
ESPN reported that the person who placed the bets was communicating with Bohannon, citing surveillance video.
UA fired Bohannon on Thursday.
“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,” a university statement read.
Bohannon finished 166-124 from 2018-23. He was an assistant coach at Auburn, Kentucky and Wake Forest prior to arriving in Tuscaloosa.
No players known to be involved
All indications are that no players on the Alabama roster are known to be connected to the betting, a source with knowledge of the investigation told The Tuscaloosa News.
Bohannon was quickly removed from the Alabama Athletics site, but all players previously listed remained on the online roster as of Thursday.
Who is Alabama’s new coach?
Jason Jackson was named the interim head coach once Bohannon was fired. Jackson has served as the pitching coach since June 13, 2017.
He previously spent nine seasons as the pitching coach at Florida Atlantic. His other assistant coaching jobs include South Alabama, Mercer and North Florida Community College.
He won his first game, coaching the Crimson Tide to an 11-2 victory over No. 5 Vanderbilt on Thursday.
Questions we still have
Was the integrity of the game compromised? If so, how?
We know Bohannon is connected to the suspicious activity that first led Ohio to suspending bets on Alabama baseball, but the specifics are unknown as of Friday.
Was there simply an exchange of inside information? Were decisions made that altered the outcome of a game, or games? To what extent did Bohannon know the bets were being placed?
No matter the exact details, it’s clear there was enough for the university to feel it needed to fire Bohannon.
How much was bet?
The exact amount is unknown at this time, but Ronnie Johns, the chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, told NOLA.com the bet was large.
“One was on a parlay which involved the LSU-Alabama game, and then there was another straight-up (money line) bet,” Johns said.
Who placed the bets?
The exact identity of the individual who placed the bets in Ohio is unknown. The Action Network reported Friday it was a former high school baseball coach.
Was this an isolated incident?
We know there was suspicious betting activity around the Alabama-LSU game on Friday, but we don’t know if it was the first or just one that happened to be flagged or noticed.
How will this impact Alabama baseball in NCAA Tournament?
In D1 Baseball’s latest projections Wednesday, the Crimson Tide is projected to be a No. 3 seed in Morgantown, West Virginia.
If Alabama remains a contender for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, will the Crimson Tide be allowed to play? It’s too early to tell and, even with Bohannon gone, it remains to be seen how or if the NCAA would handle disciplinary action.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama baseball gambling investigation: What’s known, unknown