Bernie Kosar Sacked from Radio Gig After Ex-Browns QB Bets $19K on Team
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has been relieved of his duties as a team radio announcer. That’s after placing a publicized bet on his old team during the first week of legalized sports betting in Ohio.
Kosar had been part of the team’s pregame radio show. But on Sunday morning, he tweeted that his “services are no longer desired or needed” by the NFL team.
The former quarterback’s sacking comes more than a week after Tipico announced the first bet it would take in Ohio would be from Kosar, who would wager $19K – a nod to his old jersey number – on his former team beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s season finale.
Kosar also mentioned the bet a week on another show he does with former Browns teammate Hanford Dixon. He said that if it won, he would donate the proceeds to charity and then joked about going to the Browns’ practice and recommending some plays he said would help them win the game.
The Steelers ended up winning, 28-14.
A message to Tipico for comment was not immediately returned on Monday.
NFL Policy on Betting
After the game on Sunday evening, the Browns said in a statement to Cleveland.com that they notified Kosar earlier in the week that he had to be removed because he broke league rules.
We understand what Bernie means to this community and our history, but as team contracted personnel hired to provide content on our media platforms, his bet was a violation of NFL rules and we must adhere to all NFL policy,” the statement said.
The NFL’s policy on gambling is clear, especially when it comes to betting on league games. No NFL personnel, including full-time and part-time workers for clubs, can bet on any aspect of a league game or practice.
Further, players are only allowed to bet on other sports.
Last month, New York Jets wide receivers coach Miles Austin was suspended for making wagers that, according to his attorney, were made on professional sports outside of the NFL. Austin is appealing the decision.
Sportsbooks Flock to Ex-Jocks
Former athletes often participate in ceremonial first wagers for sports betting operators when they open a new retail sportsbook or debut an app in a state.
Ohio was certainly no exception to that. Besides Kosar, Hard Rock had former Cincinnati Red Pete Rose make the first bet at its Cincinnati casino’s sportsbook. Rose’s old teammate, George Foster, and former Cincinnati Bengal defensive lineman Tim Krumrie made the first bets at the BetMGM retail sportsbook at the Reds Great American Ball Park.
Those ties to sportsbooks can create some murky situations. Last month, New Jersey gaming regulators ordered bets placed on the Citrus Bowl after December 15 be voided. That was the date legendary NFL quarterback Drew Brees announced he would help coach his alma mater Purdue in the January 2 bowl game.
Brees had a longstanding relationship with PointsBet as an ambassador. The Australian-based operator didn’t formally sever ties with Brees until a week later.