Former Iowa State starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers and four other Iowa athletes have pleaded guilty a reduced charge of underage gambling, according to ESPN.
Dekkers, ISU offensive lineman Jake Remsburg, former ISU player Dodge Sauser, former Iowa kicker Aaon Blom and former Iowa baseball player Gehrig Christense all reportedly pleaded guilty after a state investigation into sports betting that has turned up more than 10 current and former student-athletes accused of making improper wagers.
The group initially faced an aggravated misdemeanor charge of tampering with records that carried a maximum penalty of two years in prison. By pleading guilty to underage gambling, Dekkers and the four others will reportedly face only a $645 fine with no further criminal penalties.
“The original records tampering charge against these young men never fit this case, either legally or factually,” attorney Mark Weinhardt, who represents Dekkers, Remsburg and Sauser, said in a statement. “Hunter, Jake, and Dodge are not and never were guilty of that charge. The charge has nothing to do with gambling. Other than the fact that Hunter, Jake, and Dodge placed some bets before they turned 21, nothing about those bets was a crime under Iowa law.”
While the legal fallout might be limited to a three-figure fine, the bigger issue for the active student-athletes will likely be how the NCAA treats their eligibility. Iowa defensive tackle Noah Shannon has already been suspended for the entire season by the NCAA, with the Hawkeyes appealing the decision.
NCAA rules allow for bets on a student-athlete’s own team to be punished by a permanent loss of eligibility. Dekkers falls in that group, as the redshirt junior was reportedly alleged to have bet on the Iowa State football game against Oklahoma State in 2021.
In total, Dekkers was alleged to have engaged in a scheme with his parents to make 366 sports wagers on his DraftKings account worth over $2,799, with 26 of them involving Iowa State athletics. He reportedly remains on Iowa State’s roster, but is not currently involved with team activities after starting all 12 games for the Cyclones last season.
With Dekkers sidelined, Iowa State opened its season with redshirt freshman Rocco Becht starting under center in a 30-9 win over Northern Iowa last Saturday. Becht went 10-for-13 for 113 passing yards and two touchdowns, plus another touchdown on the ground.