Pete Rose Visits Alabama Football Team for Preseason Talk

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Baseball legend Pete Rose (pictured) recently visited the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide football team to share insights from his personal experiences on the perils of sports betting and other topics.

The visit was orchestrated by Alabama’s six-time NCAA title-winning head coach, Nick Saban, who has a tradition of inviting distinguished speakers to address his team ahead of the regular season.

Rose played 23 seasons for Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds between 1964 and 1986, during which time he smashed several league records, including all-time hits and most games played.  

However, that stellar career was tarnished in 1989, when as manager of the Reds, he was banned indefinitely from pro baseball after betting on his own team’s games at offshore sportsbooks.

Despite his MLB achievements, Rose has never been allowed into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of the incident.

The choice of Rose for this year’s motivational speaker is a pertinent one for Saban and his team. Alabama Crimson Tide baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired back in May after allegedly passing on wagering information to a sportsbook bettor in Ohio.

Interestingly, the alleged $400,000 insider bet was attempted at the BetMGM venue in the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, the home of the Cincinnati Reds.

The event has been just one of several sports betting scandals among U.S athletes in 2023, including a wave of more than 10 suspensions from the NFL.

Rose’s Message

If anyone was to have a lifetime’s experiences of the consequences of illicit sports betting while a successful athlete, it would be Pete Rose.

His illustrious baseball career has basically been overshadowed by his 1989 ban.

In his 2004 memoir, “My Prison Without Bars,” Rose finally admitted to betting on Reds games as a player and a team manager.

During his talk with the Alabama Crimson Tide football players, Rose emphasized the importance of abiding by team rules, which includes refraining from participating in sports betting. He candidly shared about the mistakes he made, the poor judgments he took, and how his gambling activities forever tarnished his reputation and career.

Addressing Issues in College Football

Nick Saban, when asked about Rose’s visit, mentioned that the baseball legend did address his gambling history.

“He said he made a mistake, he should have never done it, and he said it was bad judgment on his part,” Saban said.

“He was very transparent, but he also talked about winning and he said he never gambled on his team doing anything but winning. He believed in his players, he trusted his players, he loved his players.”

Saban is one of the most successful coaches in college football history, with six NCAA Division 1 title wins under his belt since he took over in 2009.

So, it’s clearly no coincidence that he picked Rose to speak to the team this year.

With sports betting becoming a significant concern ahead of the NCAA Division 1 football season, Saban wanted his players to hear firsthand about the potential consequences of their actions.

The message was clear: even if sports betting is legal, sports leagues and associations do not approve, and the ramifications could disrupt or even end their career.

Beyond Rose’s visit, Saban’s initiative to bring in speakers aims to address various pressing issues facing college football players today.

From sports betting to drugs and alcohol, Saban is keen on educating his players about the potential consequences of their choices.

“We try to get the best speakers that we possibly can that will address issues that we’re facing in college football, as well as people who sort of can help create a mindset that’s going to help you be more consistent so that you can get the results that you want relative to the commitments that you make,” he told NBC15 News.

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