A University of Alabama student has been arrested after making a bomb threat to LSU’s Tiger Stadium over the weekend, according to police. The threat allegedly stemmed from a sports bet.
The ABC affiliate WBRZ.com in Baton Rouge, Alabama, had the story on Tuesday. According to a police affidavit, 19-year-old Connor Bruce Croll allegedly made the threat over the phone during LSU’s game versus the University of Florida on Saturday, Oct. 12, which ended in a 42-28 Tiger win.
Per WBRZ, a police affidavit accused Croll of telling officers after his arrest that he wanted to stop the football game because “his friend was on the verge of losing a large bet.”
The investigation is ongoing.
Neither Alabama or Louisiana have legalized sports wagering. Neighboring Mississippi authorizes brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, available to individuals 21 and over. It’s unknown if the bet Croll allegedly referenced when being questioned by police was placed illegally or legally.
LSU released a statement on the incident. The school said it “appreciates the cooperation of all agencies and the University of Alabama and UAPD in this very serious matter.”
The University of Alabama told The Tuscaloosa News in a statement: “We are aware of the arrest of a UA freshman over the weekend. Threats and pranks can have serious ramifications and necessitate an appropriate response. The university and UAPD are cooperating fully with the investigation, but we cannot provide any additional details on a pending matter.”
Croll is currently in jail in Tuscaloosa, the report stated.
Student wagering bans
The Croll incident comes in the wake of recent high-profile moves by Purdue University in Indiana and St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania to put in place bans on their respective student bodies wagering (legally) on school sports. It’s unclear how the restrictions will be enforced as students 21 and up are allowed under state law to bet on sports, including on events involving teams at schools they attend.
Here, the alleged wager that Croll allegedly told police about wasn’t on game involving an Alabama team.
And note that if the purported bet was made within Alabama, it had to be either through a local black market bookie or an offshore gambling platform, or a combination of the two.
With that said, no state in the country has enacted a law allowing teenagers to gamble on sports. States have the ability to fine, and potentially revoke a license of, a legal sports betting operator taking bets from an underage person — whether it’s in a retail setting or via online/mobile.
Legal sports betting is sweeping the country in the wake of the 2018 Supreme Court ruling in Murphy v NCAA that struck down the federal ban on sports wagering, but education on sports betting’s legality is still lacking. The American Gaming Association reported in a March study that only 41% of Americans know that placing a bet through a bookie is illegal.