Iowa State QB, Iowa Kicker Named in NCAA Sports Betting Investigation

NFL News


  • The NCAA has been investigating over 40 athletes at Iowa and Iowa State
  • The NCAA recently updated its punishment standards for sports betting violations
  • Both Dekkers and Blom placed thousands of dollars worth of bets at DraftKings

Iowa State QB Hunter Dekkers and Iowa kicker Aaron Blom have been named in investigations into sports betting violations at the respective schools.

According to reports, both men placed a number of bets on games, several of which involved their respective schools. Dekkers, if convicted, is facing a permanent ban because of the pervasive nature of his betting habits and because he attempted to hide his background.

Dekkers and Blom are just two of over 40 students in multiple sports that were under investigation. The full results of the probe still have not been finalized.

Serious violations

The Story County Attorney's Office filed a criminal complaint against Dekkers Tuesday for falsifying records connected to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s search of his gambling past.

Dekkers, who started all 12 games at quarterback for ISU in 2022, is charged with placing 26 wagers on events involving Iowa State, including a 2021 football game against Oklahoma State. He served as the backup in that instance and did not see the field.

Dekkers placed approximately 366 online bets at DraftKings Sportsbook totaling “over $2,799.”

The ISU coaching staff excused Dekkers from the offseason training camp "so he can focus on his studies and on the defense of this criminal charge,” according to attorney Mark Weinhardt. 

Sports betting is illegal for all NCAA athletes and can lead to a variety of suspensions. The NCAA recently released a new set of punishment standards  but still has the ability to remove an athlete’s eligibility if deemed appropriate. 

"We are in the process of gathering information and will have no further comment at this time," said Iowa State University senior associate athletic director Nick Joos.

Two other current and one former Iowa State athlete were also charged with attempting to hide their sports betting history at the same time as Dekker. That includes current offensive lineman Dodge Sauser and wrestler Paniro Johnson, as well as former defensive lineman Enyi Uwazurike. Uwazurike was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2022 and was suspended by the NFL last week for breaching its gambling policy.

An end is near

Less than 100 miles away at the University of Iowa’s campus, Blom is accused of placing 170 bets worth $4,400 (about $25 each) before his 21st birthday. The legal gambling age in Iowa is 21, so not only was he breaking the NCAA’s prohibition on sports betting, but he was also allegedly breaking the law with every bet.

According to court documents, Blom circumvented the age restriction by using an online sports betting account opened in his mother’s name at DraftKings. He bet on a variety of events, including the under in a 2021 football game against Iowa State (which he did not appear in). 

The investigation into Iowa State and Iowa has been going on behind the scenes for a while, but this is the first time that specific athletes have been named. It is an escalation in the probe and a signal that the end is approaching.

The NCAA, along with professional sports leagues, has been increasingly focused on snuffing out nefarious gambling activity and preserving the integrity of its operations. Sports betting is only growing more and more popular and is a constant attraction to the minds of young athletes, many of whom aren’t fully aware of the NCAA’s gambling rules. 

Dekkers, Blom, and the other athletes will likely be held out of competition until their guilt is known. If convicted, they will have the opportunity to appeal the charges.

Dekkers threw for 3,044 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions for the Cyclones last season. Blom made one of three field goals and an extra point.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.