What AD Greg Byrne said about Alabama baseball gambling investigation
BIRMINGHAM ― Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne spoke publicly for the first time about the Alabama baseball gambling investigation Wednesday at the Regions Tradition celebrity pro am, and Byrne said the investigation is ongoing.
"Any time you have any challenges, you get the information that you can, you deal with it the most appropriate way that you can with the information you have at the time," Byrne said.
UA announced last Thursday it had begun the steps for termination of baseball coach Brad Bohannon's contract three days after the Ohio Casino Control Commission sent out an emergency order suspending wagers on Alabama baseball. The commission received information from one of its certified independent integrity monitors that suspicious activity was identified in the Alabama vs. LSU game on Friday, April 28, when the Crimson Tide lost 8-6.
"I was in Florida for SEC meetings," Byrne said. "Found out about the ESPN article when everybody else did. Then we began to look into it immediately right after that."
The day Bohannon was fired, the Crimson Tide played Vanderbilt, beat the Commodores 11-2 and went on to win the series.
"Having the news come out on game day was obviously a challenge, but at the same time too, it’s a really good group of young men," Byrne said.
He added that there is no information that indicates student-athletes were involved in the gambling.
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"Gambling and the acceptance of it has changed dramatically with online gaming," Byrne said. "That is a societal decision. That’s a societal issue. We have a lot of things we train our student athletes, our coaches and our staff about on a daily basis, on an annual basis. I do think from an integrity standpoint within the game, to make sure that our student athletes, our coaches and our staff understand that there has to be a separation there. It’s critical. You see some schools being pretty aggressive embracing different gaming outlets. We haven’t done that as much. … There just can’t be any question from an integrity standpoint that we understand there has to be a separation there."
Days after the Alabama baseball gambling investigation began, news broke in Iowa of investigations into Iowa and Iowa State athletes for online sports gambling.
What does Byrne tell his athletes about gambling?
"You can’t gamble," Byrne said, "in a lot of different ways."