Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers has been accused of gambling on Cyclones sports events, including a football game, and was charged Tuesday with tampering with records related to an Iowa Criminal Division investigation into sports gambling.
The criminal complaint said Dekkers placed 366 online bets worth more than $2,799. According to documents, those bets included 26 Iowa State athletic events and a 2021 football game with Oklahoma State when Dekkers was a backup. He did not play in the game, which Iowa State won 24-21.
The Des Moines Register was first to report the charge against Dekkers, who threw for more than 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns last year and was expected to start again this season. His attorney said he would skip preseason camp.
In May, officials Iowa State and the University of Iowa announced they were cooperating with state gaming regulators who were investigating illegal online gambling on their campuses. Iowa said it identified 26 athletes in various sports that might have also compromised their NCAA eligibility. Iowa State at the time said about 15 athletes across three sports were suspected of violating gambling rules.
Three other current or former Iowa State athletes are facing the same charge, according to state online court records. Those include former Cyclones defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike, who was drafted by Denver in 2022 and was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for betting on Broncos games during his rookie season.
“We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time,” Iowa State senior associate athletic director Nick Joos said in a statement.
All four athletes are accused of concealing their identities “with the intent to deceive or conceal a wrongdoing,” according to the complaint cited by the Register. Each athlete allegedly worked with third parties to create the appearance that the third parties, rather than the athletes, were placing bets.
Dekkers participated in a scheme with his parents, Scott Dekkers and Jami Dekkers, to conceal his online gambling and made it appear that bets placed by Hunter Dekkers were made by Jami Dekkers, the complaint said.
The 22-year-old Dekkers started all 12 of Iowa State’s games last season. He could face loss of eligibility under NCAA guidelines against athletes from wagering on their own games or other sports at their own schools.
His attorney, Mark Weinhardt, said Dekkers will not participate in preseason practices to “focus on his studies and on the defense of this criminal charge.” He said Dekkers would plead not guilty to the criminal charge.
“This charge attempts to criminalize a daily fact of American life. Millions of people share online accounts of all kinds every day,” Weihardt said in a statement sent to the AP. “Thousands and thousands of college athletes place bets — usually very small ones — with shared accounts. That is for the schools and the NCAA to police.”
Experts have predicted that college sports will see gambling scandals as betting becomes more accepted in state after state following a Supreme Court ruling five years ago. The topic grabbed headlines earlier this year after Alabama’s baseball coach, Brian Bohannon, and two Cincinnati baseball staffers were let go due to their connection to gambling investigations.
The NCAA recently stiffened punishment for athletes found to have bet on their games, influenced the outcome of those games, bets on other sports at their school or knowingly provided information to someone engaged in sports betting.
The other three athletes were also charged with tampering with records connected to the investigation, according to state online records. Besides Uwazurike, they are offensive lineman Dodge Sauser and Iowa State wrestler Paniro Johnson.
Sauser made approximately 113 online bets worth $3,075 with 12 wagers on Iowa State football games, including those with Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, according to records.
Johnson, who won a Big 12 wrestling title last year as a freshman, is alleged to have placed about 1,283 bets online worth more than $45,600, according to the complaint. There were approximately 25 bets on Iowa State athletic events.
The complaint against Uwazurike alleges he made 801 bets online for more than $21,300, with four wagers on Iowa State football games.
All four are set to appear in court on Aug. 16. There was no attorney listed for most of the athletes listed on the complaints.