University of Cincinnati Baseball Officials Dismissed Over ‘NCAA Infractions’
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Two University of Cincinnati baseball officials have been dismissed amid potential “NCAA infractions,” the university said in a statement on Wednesday.
A university review began on May 8 regarding the potential infractions, which only uncovered evidence about the baseball team. The investigation is ongoing, but assistant coach Kyle Sprague and director of operations Andy Nagel were fired last week, the school said.
University of Cincinnati and affiliated sportsbooks did not respond to requests for comment made by the Action Network inquiring whether the infractions involved gambling.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission “is aware of the University of Cincinnati’s decision to relieve two individuals associated with the baseball program of their duties,” according to Director of Communications, Jessica Franks, who added that “the University of Cincinnati is not under investigation by the Commission.”
Fox19, a local TV station in the area, reported that Sprague and Nagel didn’t gamble themselves. The outlet said a parent connected to a player on the team gambled and told Sprague and Nagel about it. The TV station added that the officials were fired after they didn’t report the betting activity to any relevant authorities.
The station reported that, despite the knowledge, there’s no evidence Sprague and Nagel influenced any decision that affected the outcome of any games.
NCAA rules ban collegiate athletes or staff members from wagering on almost every sport. Any sport that the NCAA operates — from football all the way down to fencing — its athletes, coaches or staffers aren’t permitted to bet on. That includes wagers in any country, at any skill level. For instance, an athletic trainer can’t bet on the NFL, even if they aren’t privy to any insider information or otherwise.
These rules also encompass other forms of “sports betting.” For instance, those affiliated with the NCAA can’t join fantasy football leagues or March Madness brackets that involve money.
Already this month, three other universities have become embroiled in gambling controversies.
Iowa and Iowa State are under investigation by state officials after several dozen student-athletes may have violated the NCAA’s gambling policies, the Action Network’s Darren Rovell reported first on May 8. State officials then exclusively told the Action Network that at present, there’s no evidence to believe any sporting event had been compromised as a result of these wagers.
And just a few days before the Iowa and Iowa State news became public, former Alabama head baseball coach Brad Bohannon was dismissed after he was connected to suspicious wagering activity in Ohio.
A bettor in Ohio was on the phone with Bohannon when the decision to scratch Alabama’s best starter was made, the Action Network reported first on May 5. The bettor in Ohio then placed two large wagers on LSU, the opposing team, at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ballpark. The game was slated to begin just hours later.
The Tide replaced their best pitcher, Luke Holman, with a reliever who hadn’t started a game in over a month.
Alabama lost, 8-6, and an independent organization filed a report to state gaming commissions across the country indicating potential malfeasance.
Sources had told Action Network that there wasn’t any information that pointed to Alabama players being in on any bet.
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