The problems for Iowa State University quarterback Hunter Dekkers could be facing more issues than just a suspension after he was accused of betting on his own team.
According to the Des Moines Register, local law enforcement has filed criminal charges against Dekkers for tampering with records related to an investigation into sports betting at the university. He is one of three athletes accused of tampering with sports betting records to mask their betting activity. The other two players are offensive lineman Dodge Sauser and wrestler Paniro Johnson. All three players were under the age of 21 at the time some of the wagers were placed.
Dekkers’s attorney issued the following statement regarding his client:
“Hunter Dekkers denies the criminal charge brought against him. He will plead not guilty to that charge because he is in fact not guilty of that charge. This charge attempts to criminalize a daily fact of American life. Millions of people share online accounts of all kinds every day.”
“This prosecution interferes with and politicizes what is the business of Iowa State University and the NCAA. The investigation at the Iowa universities is the tip of an iceberg. 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.”
The tampering charges essentially boil down to Dekkers and the others for using other people’s online sports betting accounts in order to willfully mask their identity from operators.
The amount of money Dekkers wagered amounted to more than $2,799 spread across over 300 bets, 26 of which were on ISU football. Sauser wagered just north of $3,000, while Johnson is connected to more than $45,000 of wagers and nearly 1,300 bets, 25 of which were on ISU events.
With each player betting in excess of $800 as well as on their own sports, under the new NCAA rules, they will all be sitting out for at least 50% of the season if these charges prove to be true. However, it is possible the NCAA could impose stiffer penalties at its own discretion.
Dekkers was on track to be the team’s starting quarterback this season but will now skip fall camp to focus on these accusations and school.
The investigation in Iowa also included more information about the recently suspended Eyioma Uwazurike of the Denver Broncos. A graduate of ISU, Uwazurike is accused of wagering 32 times on Broncos games while he was on the roster in addition to a handful of ISU games when he was a student-athlete. Like the three ISU athletes, he is facing criminal tampering charges.