Iowa State starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers could be facing the end of his college football career after the Story County Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint charging him with “tampering with records related to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s” inquiry into sports wagering, according to a local media report Tuesday night.
Dekkers is one of three Iowa State athletes charged — sophomore wrestler Paniro Johnson and sophomore offensive lineman Dodge Sauser are also accused of betting on Iowa State sports. Johnson, a Big 12 wrestling champion last season, allegedly bet more than $45,600 across nearly 1,300 wagers.
“Due to confidentiality rules put in place by NCAA member schools, the NCAA does not comment on current, pending or potential investigations,” an NCAA spokesperson told Sports Handle when it inquired Tuesday night.
Dekkers and Sauser become the second and third college football players in Iowa to be connected to sports betting scandals, and as early as May, Iowa State officials told the media they were aware of possible NCAA violations and were investigating.
“Iowa State University and its Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is aware of online sports wagering allegations involving approximately 15 of our active student-athletes from the sports of football, wrestling, and track & field in violation of NCAA rules,” the Iowa State Athletic Department said in a statement in May. “The university has notified the NCAA and will take the appropriate actions to resolve these issues.”
Starting Iowa defensive tackle Noah Shannon was the first to be known to be under investigation by the NCAA. Shannon in July revealed that he was under investigation when he declined to attend the Big Ten Media Day due to the ongoing investigation.
Dekkers only 20 when he allegedly wagered
According to the Des Moines Register, which broke the story, Dekkers allegedly placed 26 wagers on Cyclones sports events, including betting on their 2021 football game against Oklahoma State. Dekkers did not play in that game and was the backup quarterback. According to the complaint, 366 bets were placed from Dekkers’ DraftKings account, totaling at least $2,799.
Born July 4, 2001, Dekkers would have been 20 at the time any wagers that season were made, meaning that he would have been under the legal age for wagering in Iowa, which is 21.
Dekkers’ parents were reportedly in on what the complaint termed a “scheme,” and 297 of the 366 bets were placed while Dekkers was underage.
Hunter Dekkers' parents allegedly tried to help him bet and cover it up.
An Iowa State wrestler and offensive lineman are involved, too. https://t.co/QdDVUSwWwx
— Ryan Young (@RyanYoung44) August 1, 2023
The NCAA in June released a softened version of its penalties for athletes caught wagering, but a player betting on his own team or other teams from his or her school would permanently forfeit eligibility.
Over the last several months, college sports have been in the news for sports betting violations, most notably with the story that Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was feeding information to a man who tried to wager nearly $100,000 in cash at an Ohio brick-and-mortar sportsbook on an Alabama-LSU baseball game. Bohannon has since been fired by the university.
In addition, the NFL so far has suspended 10 players for betting violations, most recently Denver Broncos defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike, who played at Iowa State.