Lots of bets, small dollar amounts
It looks like the Iowa State University football team is going to have to scramble to figure out who will be starting at quarterback when the team opens its season a month from today against the University of Northern Illinois. Hunter Dekkers, who started every game for the Cyclones last season and was set to be the starting QB this season, has been charged by the Story County Attorney’s Office for tampering with records related to alleged sports betting. According to the criminal complaint, Dekkers bet on Iowa State football games.
In all, Dekkers allegedly placed 26 wagers on Cyclones sporting events, including a football game against Oklahoma State in 2021. He was a backup at the time and did not play in the game. Including the Iowa State wagers, Dekkers allegedly placed 366 bets in total, amounting to over $2,799.
He placed most of the bets when he was under 21 – the legal gambling age in Iowa – but hid his identity with the help of his parents.
Dekkers plans to plead not guilty, but is stepping away from the team in the meantime to “focus on his studies and on the defense of this criminal charge.”
Should it be proven that Dekkers bet on his own games or games in other sports involving Iowa State, he could lose his collegiate athletics eligibility.
Other players charged
Two other current Iowa State athletes have also been charged with the same aggravated misdemeanor as Dekkers. Teammate Dodge Sauser, an offensive lineman, allegedly placed 113 bets totaling $3,075 on DraftKings, including a dozen wagers on Iowa State football games.
Paniro Johnson, a Big 12 wrestling champ, allegedly placed nearly 1,300 bets totaling more than $45,600, about 25 of which were on Iowa State sporting events.
When the investigation into possible sports betting crimes began in the spring, the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission said that it did not believe that the integrity of any games was affected. No information has been made public as to whether the players bet for or against Iowa State.
Former Iowa State football player and current Denver Bronco Eyioma Uwazurike was also named in the criminal complaint. On July 24, the NFL suspended him indefinitely for violating the league’s gambling policy, as he bet on NFL games. The Story County complaint alleges that he placed five bets on Broncos games and more than two dozen on individual players. In 2021, while in school, he bet on two Iowa State football games.
Uwazurike is also charged with tampering with records like the other three athletes, which amounts to hiding one’s identity “with the intent to deceive or conceal a wrongdoing.”
Image credit: GoIowaState.com via Flickr