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NCAA Committee on Infractions Has Spoken: University of Alabama




The NCAA Committee on Infractions (“Committee” or “COI” or “panel”) recently issued its findings and found that the University of Alabama (“Alabama” or “institution”) committed violations of NCAA legislation.  Alabama and NCAA enforcement staff agreed with the violations and penalties detailed below. The parties also agreed that this case should be resolved as Level I – Mitigated for the institution. Then head baseball coach, Brad Bohannon ("Bohannon"), was a non-participating party. The enforcement staff proposed this case should be resolved as Level I – Aggravated for Bohannon and the Committee agreed. Accordingly, the parties agreed to a negotiated resolution.


Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 10.01.1 and 10.3 (2022-23) (Level I)

 

The institution and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that on April 28, 2023, Bohannon violated the principles of NCAA honesty and sportsmanship when he provided information to an individual involved in sports wagering activities concerning intercollegiate competition. Specifically, on April 28, 2023, prior to the institution's baseball game against LSU, Bohannon sent several electronic messages via the Signal encrypted messaging application to an individual known by Bohannon to be involved in frequent sports wagering activities. Bohannon’s messages indicated that student-athlete 1, the scheduled starting pitcher for that evening's game, would not start the contest due to an injury. Bohannon provided the bettor this information before reporting the starting lineup (with student-athlete 1 replaced as the starting pitcher) to the LSU coaching staff. Shortly thereafter, the bettor attempted to place a $100,000 wager on the LSU baseball team at the BetMGM sportsbook at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati but the sportsbook staff limited bettor to a $15,000 wager. The bettor attempted to place additional wagers involving the April 28 Alabama vs. LSU baseball game, but the sportsbook staff declined the wagers due to suspicious activity.

 

Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 11.1.1.1 (2022-23) (Level 1)

 

The institution and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that on April 28, 2023, Bohannon is responsible for the violations set forth above.


Violations of NCAA Division I Manual Bylaws 19.2.1, 19.2.1-(d), 19.2.1-(e), 19.2.1-(f), 19.2.2, 19.2.2-(a) and 19.2.2-(b) (2022-23 and 2023-24) (Level I)


Beginning June 16, 2023, after his employment with Alabama ended, and continuing to the present, Bohannon failed to cooperate with the NCAA enforcement staff when he refused to (a) participate in an interview with the NCAA enforcement staff, (b) make a full and complete disclosure of relevant information and (c) provide access to all electronic devices.

 

The Aggravating and Mitigating Factors are as follows:

 

Aggravating Factors for the Institution

 

  1. Multiple Level I and/or multiple Level II violations for which this institution is responsible. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.3.1-(a).

  2. Persons of authority condoned, participated in or negligently disregarded the violation or related wrongful conduct.  NCAA Bylaw 19.12.3.1-(e).

  3. Intentional, willful or blatant disregard for NCAA bylaws by a person with institutionally derived authority. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.3.1-(i).

 

Mitigating Factors for the Institution

 

  1. Prompt self-disclosure of the violations. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.4.1-(a).

  2. Prompt acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility for the violations. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.4.1-(b).

  3. Institution self-imposed meaningful corrective measures and/or penalties. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.4.1-(c).

  4. Institution took affirmative steps to expedite final resolution of the matter. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.4.1-(d).

  5. An established history of self-reporting Level III or secondary violations, i.e., at minimum, five violations per year for the previous five years. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.4.1-(e).

  6. Exemplary cooperation. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.4.1-(g).

 

Aggravating Factors for Bohannon

 

  1. Multiple Level I and/or multiple Level II violations. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.3.2-(a).

  2. Failing or refusing to take all appropriate steps outlined in Bylaw 19.2.1 to advance resolution of the matter, including steps that hinder or thwart the institution and/or enforcement staff's investigation. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.3.2-(b).

  3. Persons of authority condoned, participated in or negligently disregarded the violation or related wrongful conduct. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.3.2-(d).

  4. Intentional, willful or blatant disregard for NCAA bylaws. NCAA Bylaw 19.12.3.2-(i).

 

Mitigating Factors for Bohannon

 

  1. The absence of prior conclusions of Level I, Level II or major violations committed by the involved individual.  NCAA Bylaw 19.12.4.2-(e).

 

The Committee penalized Florida State as follows:

 

1.    Probation: Three years of probation from February 1, 2024, through January 31, 2027.

 

2.     Financial penalty: The institution shall pay a fine of $5,000.

 

3.     Show-cause order: Bohannon violated the principles of NCAA honesty and sportsmanship when he provided information to an individual involved in sports wagering activities concerning intercollegiate competition. Additionally, Bohannon violated head coach responsibility legislation when he provided information to an individual involved in sports wagering activities. Finally, Bohannon (while no longer with the institution) failed to meet his responsibility to cooperate with the enforcement staff when he refused to (a) participate in an interview with the enforcement staff, (b) make a full and complete disclosure of relevant information and (c) provide access to all electronic devices. Therefore, Bohannon shall be subject to a 15-year show-cause order from February 1, 2024, through January 31, 2039. In accordance with Bylaw 19.12.6.4 and Committee on Infractions IOP 5-15-5, any employing member institution shall restrict Bohannon from all athletically related activity during the show-cause period. If Bohannon becomes employed by a member institution in an athletically related position during the 15-year show-cause period, the employing institution shall abide by the terms of the show-cause order unless it contacts the office of the Committees on Infractions to make arrangements to show cause why the terms of the order should not apply.

 

4.     Head coach restriction: Bohannon violated head coach responsibility legislation when he provided information to an individual involved in sports wagering activities. Bylaw 19.12.6.5 and the Figure 19-1 penalty guidelines contemplate head coach suspensions to address head coach responsibility violations. Therefore, if Bohannon becomes employed in an athletically related position at a member institution during the 15-year show-cause period, the employing institution shall suspend him from 100% of baseball regular season contests during the first five seasons of his employment. This percentage corresponds with the first 56 regular season contests for each of the first five seasons of his employment. The suspension shall run concurrently with the show-cause order.

 

5.     Public reprimand and censure through the release of the negotiated resolution agreement.

 

6.     The institution shall retain EPIC Global Solutions to provide a comprehensive gambling harm and student-athlete protection educational program for its student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators.

 

For any questions, contact Christian Dennie at cdennie@denniefirm.com.

 

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