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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU’s baseball team is not involved in the ongoing gambling investigations of the Alabama baseball team and 26 athletes at Iowa and 15 at Iowa State, including baseball players.
But the initial story that led to Alabama firing baseball coach Brad Bohannon for allegedly having a runner place bets against NCAA rules that involved the Alabama-LSU game on Friday, April 28 here in Alex Box Stadium. Bohannon changed starting pitchers shortly before the game started, raising suspicion. Alabama fired Bohannon for cause on May 4.
Alabama Was At LSU Before Investigation Broke
“When it happens so close to your organization, I thought that was kind of unique,” senior designated hitter/first baseman Cade Beloso said Thursday. “Like, we were playing them.”
LSU beat Alabama and starting pitcher Hagan Banks (1-1), 8-6, in the opener that Friday and swept the three-game series.
“I mean, that’s an interesting situation,” Beloso said. “I’ve never heard of that happening in college baseball. But credit to LSU for giving us so much information on that. And us knowing what you can’t do. That’s definitely a thing you can’t do – gamble on college sports.”
LSU coach Jay Johnson spoke to his team about gambling following Bohannon’s firing a week ago while at Auburn for a three-game series.
Jay Johnson Spoke To LSU About Gambling
“I talked to the team last Thursday night after we practiced,” he said Thursday. “And basically just said that situation is that situation. It doesn’t involve or concern us. So, we’re focused on what we’re doing.”
LSU’s players met again about gambling last Wednesday.
“We have an end-of-the year compliance meeting,” Johnson said. “And they cover a bunch of subjects. And that was covered in that meeting.”
The No. 2 Tigers (38-10, 16-7 SEC) host Mississippi State (24-23, 6-18 SEC) Friday (8:30 p.m., SEC Network) to open a three-game series. Before the game, as before every game, LSU’s players walk by signs detailing how gambling is against NCAA rules.
“Yes, we’re always getting talked to about it,” Beloso said. “We get weekly reminders and around the Super Bowl, and stuff like that. We have a great compliance department that keeps us educated on that.”
Alabama Athletic Director Speaks of Brad Bohannon Firing
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne spoke this week about the baseball program for the first time since Bohannon’s firing.
“We don’t have any information that shows our student-athletes are involved,” Byrne said. “We have full expectation that we can be part of the postseason.”
Alabama and interim coach Jason Jackson took two of three from No. 5 Vanderbilt in Tuscaloosa last week. But the Tide (33-16, 11-13 SEC) is not a lock for postseason as it is tied for eighth place in the overall league standings. Alabama plays at Texas A&M (29-20, 11-13) at 7 p.m. Friday on SEC Network+.
“When we knew there was a challenge, we dealt with it immediately,” Byrne said, referencing Bohannon’s firing.