Bernie Kosar, a national championship quarterback at Miami in 1983, was drafted by the Browns in 1985. He played eight years in Cleveland before one year in Dallas and three years in Miami, and retired in 1996.
In retirement, Kosar has had many business ventures. He purchased the Florida Panthers in 2001, bought an Arena Football League team in 2007, and lent his name to various property groups.
Additionally, Kosar was hired as a consultant for the Cleveland Browns on October 17, 2009 and served in that role for 13 years, and also hosted a radio show. He was fired Sunday.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the team relieved Kosar of his duties because of a bet. Ohio recently legalized sports betting.
Kosar placed the first legal bet in the state through Tipico Sportsbook. He wagered $19,000 on the Browns to beat the Steelers on Sunday and promised to donate any winnings to charity.
That was a big no-no. The NFL has strict rules about employees and contractors, and sports betting.
Kosar’s unique, fairly undefined role with Cleveland makes it a grey area for whether he can bet at all. Coaches and players cannot bet on any sport.
Just ask Miles Austin— who was suspended earlier this year for wagering on the NBA. It’s a double standard, considering that the NFL makes millions through partnerships with sportsbooks, but the rules are the rules.
Do those same rules apply to someone like Kosar?
It doesn’t matter.
The league is very clear that employees and contractors cannot bet on any games that involve the teams with which they are associated. Kosar bet on the Browns while working for the Browns.
He is not allowed to place that bet, even for charity. Thus, Cleveland gave him the axe.