The NCAA imposed a 15-year show-cause penalty on ex-Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon as part of its sanctions revealed on Thursday. This action comes in response to his association with a sports bettor who placed a wager on an Alabama baseball game last spring.
Starting Wednesday, Alabama's baseball program is under a three-year NCAA probation, accompanied by a $5,000 fine for the university. The NCAA stated that Alabama had an individual "of authority [who] condoned, participated in, or negligently disregarded the violation or related wrongful conduct," and there was an "intentional, willful, or blatant disregard for NCAA bylaws by a person with institutionally derived authority."
Nevertheless, Alabama cooperated with the NCAA, and the two reached a consensus that the circumstances of the case did not justify scholarship reductions or a postseason ban. The penalties imposed on the school were categorized as Level I - Mitigated.
As a result, Alabama is obligated to communicate the three-year probation status to its baseball prospects and ensure that details about the NCAA's ruling are prominently displayed on its website and media guide in a "direct and conspicuous" manner. Nonetheless, the NCAA acknowledged that Alabama bore "very little institutional culpability, [there was] no student-athlete involvement and [the NCAA investigation] was materially aided by the institution's prompt investigation, disclosure of the violations and its exemplary cooperation."
However, the NCAA stated that Bohannon did not cooperate with its investigation, declining to engage in an interview with the NCAA's enforcement staff or furnish them with information, including access to his electronic devices. His violations of the NCAA's wagering and ethical conduct rules were labeled as Level I - Aggravated.
"Integrity of games is of the utmost importance to NCAA members, and the panel is deeply troubled by Bohannon's unethical behavior," Vince Nicastro, deputy chief hearing officer for the panel said in a press release. "Coaches, student-athletes and administrators have access to information deemed valuable to those involved in betting. Improperly sharing that information for purposes of sports betting cuts to the heart of the honesty and sportsmanship we expect of our members and is particularly egregious when shared by those who have the ability to influence the outcome of games."
If hired by a school during his 15-year show-cause penalty, Bohannon would receive a five-year suspension.
Alabama has since taken steps to help educate student-athletes and coaches about gambling harm.
According to the NCAA, Alabama has hired EPIC Global Solutions to provide "a comprehensive gambling harm and student-athlete protection education program for student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators."
Last August, the university extended gambling education to all athletes and staff members through U.S. Integrity. Additionally, the SEC has collaborated with ProhiBET, a monitoring service that oversees the activities of athletes, coaches and administrators to ensure adherence to NCAA rules.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.