Hunter Dekkers among 4 linked to Iowa State gambling, charged with tampering

Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers has been accused of betting on events involving the Cyclones, including a 2021 football game, and is among four current or former athletes at the university charged with tampering with records related to an ongoing investigation by the Iowa Criminal Division.

An affidavit included with the criminal complaint filed Monday in the Iowa District Court for Story County alleges approximately 366 bets totaling $2,799 were placed on a DraftKings sportsbook account linked to Dekkers, including 26 on Iowa State sporting events.

The affidavit alleges he bet on an Iowa State football game against Oklahoma State on Oct. 23, 2021. Dekkers did not play in the Big 12 contest, and the affidavit does not reveal which team or what type of bet he made on the game, which the Cyclones won 24-21.

The affidavit alleges Dekkers was under 21, the legal betting age in Iowa, when most of the bets were placed but that he disguised his identity with the help of his parents, Scott and Jami Dekkers.

DraftKings did not respond to a request for comment.

Dekkers, a junior, started all 12 games last season for the Cyclones and was their expected starter for 2023.

In a statement, Dekkers' attorney said the quarterback will plead not guilty to the charge but in the meantime will step away from the team.

"So he can focus on his studies and on the defense of this criminal charge, Hunter has informed the University and the coaching staff that he cannot participate in fall football camp," attorney Mark Weinhardt said.

Iowa State opens its season Sept. 2 against Northern Iowa. The school lacks much proven depth behind Dekkers. Redshirt freshman Rocco Becht had been in line to back him up, and Iowa State added Tanner Hughes, a transfer from Butte College in California. The Cyclones also brought in J.J. Kohl, ESPN's No. 8 pocket passer and No. 111 overall recruit in the 2023 class.

The NCAA recently updated its penalties for student-athletes who violate its gambling policy. Those who bet on their own games or other sports at their school face a potential permanent loss of collegiate eligibility.

Current Iowa State athletes Paniro Johnson, a sophomore wrestler, and Dodge Sauser, a sophomore football player, as well as former Cyclones football player Eyioma Uwazurike also have been charged with tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor, according to the criminal complaint, which was first reported by the Des Moines Register.

Sauser made approximately 113 online bets worth $3,075, with 12 wagers on Iowa State football games, 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.

Last week, Uwazurike, a fourth-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2022, was suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's gambling policy, with the league saying he bet on games his rookie season. The complaint says Uwazurike placed approximately 32 wagers on Broncos events and individual Denver players. In total, according to the complaint, Uwazurike placed bets on five Broncos games.

"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 Tuesday.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission did not respond to requests from ESPN for comment.

In May, school officials at Iowa State and the University of Iowa acknowledged that 41 student-athletes between the schools were suspected of violating gambling rules.

Iowa kicker Aaron Blom also faces a charge of tampering with records after engaging in sports wagering while underage and concealing his identity.

According to a criminal complaint from Johnson County filed Tuesday, Blom made approximately 170 underage sports wagers while using his mother's name on a DraftKings account, including a single bet on Iowa's 2021 football game against Iowa State. The affidavit states Blom bet on the "under points total" of 45, which hit successfully in a 27-17 Hawkeyes win.

Blom, who did not play in 2021, is alleged to have wagered on "approximately eight" Iowa athletic events, and his collective wagers totaled more than $4,400.

The complaint states that both Blom and his mother, Michelle, spoke to state investigators, and Michelle admitted that she knew Aaron was using the DraftKings account registered to her name to make the wagers. Aaron Blom is entering his fourth year in the Iowa program.

Information from ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and Paula Lavigne and The Associated Press was used in this report.