NFL gambling violation sparks lawsuit from former Browns QB Bernie Kosar

BIGPLAY Bernie Kosar Tipico NFL
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A former NFL quarterback is taking legal action against the podcast company that hired him to place a bet that lead to his removal from the Cleveland Browns’ pregame show.

According to a suit filed in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar is seeking damages in excess of $850,000 against BIGPLAY after the podcast company and its co-manager Kendall Myles allegedly breached their contract with Kosar regarding an NFL wager placed over two years ago.

The suit details an alleged fractured relationship between BIGPLAY, Myles, and Kosar that began in December 2022 when the three parties inked a talent contract. The contract required Kosar to appear on podcasts and make at least two in-person promo events per quarter.

Kosar allegedly abided by the terms of the contract, which required the 60-year-old to record at least one podcast of the Bernier Kosar Show during every month of the NFL offseason. Kosar allegedly attempted to make appearances during the NFL offseason at BIGPLAY promo events as required by the contract but he claims the company failed to respond.

The suit alleges Myles then forced Kosar to make appearances at multiple events during the NFL season. This led to Kosar informing the co-manager that required appearances must be “mutually agreed upon” as the former QB had conflicting obligations in-season.

Kosar alleges that Myles refused to schedule mutually agreeable event times and attempted to renegotiate the terms of their contract. Myles allegedly presented Kosar with the opportunity to accept the new terms or terminate the contract. Kosar denied the new terms, which led to Myles allegedly verbally assaulting the former QB while he was attempting to film a podcast. Kosar alleges that Myles claimed that he “owned him.”

Myles also allegedly threatened to hit Kosar with the intention to fight him.

Termination attempt by BIGPLAY

According to the suit, Myles demanded that Kosar accept a termination agreement and relinquish all rights to payment following their confrontation. Kosar refused to accept the termination agreement, which allegedly resulted in Myles threatening to “terminate him [Kosar] for cause and potentially sue him for damages.” Myles would then allegedly sent Kosar a written notice of his termination for cause as the QB was owed at least $150,000.

BIGPLAY had been required to provide Kosar with 90 days’ notice of its intent to terminate the contract before allegedly wrongfully doing so. If BIGPLAY had not decided to end its deal with Kosar the contract would have renewed for an additional year.

Kosar claims Myles has wrongfully accused him of not adhering to BIGPLAY’s contract when the Browns pregame show host has provided evidence of going above and beyond for the podcast company and its co-manager following an NFL wager gone wrong.

Kosar placed an NFL bet

An integral part of Kosar’s fractured relationship with Myles and BIGPLAY is a wager placed on Tipico Sportsbook at a charity event during a New Year’s Eve party in 2022. Myles and fellow BIGPLAY co-manager David McAllester allegedly notified Kosar that he would have to personally place a $19,000 bet in Ohio on the Browns to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, Kosar’s deal says that “talent will not be liable, nor responsible, for the amount of the wager nor will be entitled to any winnings that may occur as a result of the wager.”

Kosar was subsequently removed from the Browns’ pregame show after placing the $19,000 bet because he violated the NFL’s gambling policy. The NFL’s gambling rules prohibit players, coaches and team personnel from placing wagers on any league event.

The bet also raised the attention of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, as the sports betting regulator bans wagering for “any agent or employee of such an athlete, participant, coach, referee, team owner, or sports governing body; and any agent or employee of an athlete, participant, or referee union with respect to the sporting event.”

Kosar claims that Myles and BIGPLAY wrongfully terminated their agreement and forced him to personally wager money using Tipico. As a result of the wager, Kosar lost his personal services deal with the Browns, which was valued at $200,000. He also claims that Myles prevented BIGPLAY from operating in good faith and blocked owed payments.

BIGPLAY continues to maintain a footprint in the gaming industry through its partnership with Tipico and as a content producer for Diamond Sports Group’s Bally Sports Network.

Kosar finished his NFL career with 23,301 passing yards and 124 touchdowns. The former University of Miami star also had stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.