Tuesday October 3, 2023

Iowa State’s Hunter Dekkers Charged in Gambling Investigation

  • Former Cyclone, suspended Broncos player Enyi Uwazurike among others charged with tampering.
  • Iowa State and Iowa were notified of the probe involving several athletes at the schools in May.
Bryon Houlgrave/USA TODAY Sports
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Iowa State starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers was among those charged with tampering on Tuesday as part of a sports betting probe. 

Dekkers, a redshirt junior who started all 12 games for the Cyclones last season, was accused of placing 26 bets involving Iowa State athletics, according to the complaint. Three other current or former Iowa State athletes were also charged with misdemeanor tampering, including former Cyclones defensive lineman Enyi Uwazurike.

Uwazurike, who debuted with the Denver Broncos in 2022, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL last month for violating the league’s gambling policy. He allegedly placed two bets on the Iowa State in 2021, Uwazurike’s final season with the Cyclones before he entered the 2022 NFL Draft. 

The charges stem from an investigation led by the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission. 

“Since becoming aware of potential NCAA eligibility issues related to sports wagering by several of our student-athletes in May, Iowa State University has been actively working to address these issues with the involved student-athletes,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement on Wednesday. “This process is ongoing and will take time before being completely resolved. 

“Iowa State cannot comment on any student-athletes’ circumstance or eligibility status. We will, however, continue to support our student-athletes as our compliance staff works with the NCAA to sort out questions surrounding their future eligibility for intercollegiate athletics competition.”

Sophomore offensive lineman Dodge Sauser and sophomore wrestler Paniro Johnson were the other two charged. Dekkers, Sauser and Johnson face permanent NCAA bans.

The Des Moines Register was the first outlet to report the charges, and KCCI-TV published Dekkers’ court documents. 

Story County (Iowa) prosecutors allege Dekkers “engaged in a scheme” meant “to disguise his identity and manipulate online/mobile transactions in order to create the appearance” his father, Scott, placed the bets.

“Hunter Dekkers use of an account associated with a non-athlete individual allowed him to circumvent scrutiny and sidestep university and NCAA policies regarding student-athlete sports wagering conduct,” the four-page complaint stated.

Investigators were able to determine the bets made by Dekkers through DraftKings were placed with Dekkers’ iPhone. A total of 366 wagers were placed by Dekkers — 297 when he was under the state’s legal betting age of 21 — that totaled at least $2,799.

Among the 26 wagers Dekkers made involving Iowa State was a 2021 bet on the Cyclones in a game against Oklahoma State, according to the complaint.

Messages left with Story County district attorney, and the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission were not immediately returned.

Several athletes from Iowa State and Iowa have been subject to investigation since early May. 

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