Five current and former student-athletes from Iowa State University and the University of Iowa have pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the state’s investigation into illegal sports betting. Rather than facing jail time, they have agreed to pay a $645 fine. The athletes involved are Hunter Dekkers, Jake Remsburg, Dodge Sauser, Aaron Blom, and Gehrig Christensen. Dekkers, Sauser, and Blom placed bets on their respective teams, while Christensen placed bets on other Iowa athletics events. All five individuals were previously charged with tampering, which is a more serious offense that can result in up to two years in jail.
One of the athletes, Aaron Blom, is no longer with the Iowa football team. Gehrig Christensen left the Iowa baseball program before charges were filed against him. Sauser voluntarily left the Iowa State football team after the investigation was announced. However, Dekkers and Remsburg have not left their respective programs at Iowa State.
Attorneys for Dekkers, Remsburg, and Sauser assert that the original charges of tampering with records were not applicable to this case. They claim that the only state law the three broke was placing bets before turning 21 years old. Dekkers, a junior quarterback, had an impressive season last year, while Remsburg started six games as a senior offensive lineman. Sauser did not appear in any games during his redshirt freshman season.
A total of 16 current and former student-athletes and other individuals from Iowa State and the University of Iowa have been charged in the investigation. Some individuals face the additional charge of illegal betting on games in which they participated. The NCAA may also impose penalties on student-athletes for violating its rules against betting on college sports.
In the most recent development of the investigation, former Iowa State football player Eyioma Uwazurike and current Iowa State wrestler Paniro Johnson were charged with Class D felony identity theft. They also face a previous charge of tampering with records. Uwazurike and Johnson have pleaded not guilty to the charges.