Another starter gone
The fallout continues in the sports betting scandal that is rocking collegiate sports in Iowa. The latest: Iowa State University defensive lineman Isaiah Lee, who started in all of his team’s games last season, has left the program. Lee is one of several Iowa State and University of Iowa athletes that was charged last week in conjunction with an investigation into illegal sports betting.
Lee allegedly placed 115 bets totaling $885 on a mobile wagering app. A dozen of those were on Iowa State football games, including one in 2021 against Texas in which he bet against his own team. He played in the game, making one tackle; Iowa State won, 30-7. A couple weeks ago, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said that there is no evidence that any games were compromised as the result of an athlete placing bets.
He has been charged with tampering with records to hide his identity so that he could make the bets. It is unclear what that specifically means, though it sounds like it could be simply having an account under someone else’s name.
List of names grows
Five Iowa State players have been charged, including starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers. He allegedly placed 366 bets for $2,799 total, almost exactly the same average per wager as Lee. All in all, less than $8 per bet is fairly inconsequential, but regardless of the amount, it is against the rules.
Dekkers also allegedly placed 26 bets on Iowa State sporting events, one of which was a 2021 football game. He was a backup at the time and did not play in the contest.
Dekkers made most of the wagers when he was under the legal gambling age in Iowa and his parents allegedly helped him hide his true identity so that he could bet. He has since stepped away from the team to “focus on his studies and on the defense of this criminal charge.”
Iowa players know their offense is bad
The most eyebrow-raising situation is at the University of Iowa, where multiple players allegedly bet on the under in their games. The Hawkeyes had one of the best defenses in the country last season, but had an absolutely miserable offense. Ridiculous series of futility on both sides were a regular joke during Iowa games. As Marca.com put it, “….if multiple players on the same team are betting against their own success, it would seem reasonable to suggest that the offensive coordinator should face the chopping block.”
One player who allegedly bet the under in two of his 19 bets was running back Arland Bruce IV. Iowa’s game last year against Northwestern had an over/under of 37.5. Iowa was leading 25-7 late in the fourth quarter, when Bruce scored a touchdown to hit the over…in a game in which he bet the under. He scored the points that lost him his bet. Bruce transferred to Oklahoma State, but has since left the team.