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Iowa State QB Hunter Dekkers charged in gambling investigation, accused of betting on Cyclones games

Dekkers is a redshirt junior who started all 12 games under center for Iowa State last year

            David Cobb

By David Cobb of www.cbssports.com

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas Christian

USASI

Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers will not participate in fall camp after criminal charges against him were filed Tuesday in the ongoing sports wagering investigation involving college athletes in Iowa. In a statement, attorney Mark Weinhardt said Dekkers informed the university and coaching staff of his decision not to participate “so he can focus on his studies and on the defense of this criminal charge.”

Dekkers is accused of “tampering with records” in the state’s investigation, according to the Des Moines Register. The redshirt junior signal caller is accused of wagering on the Cyclones’ 2021 game against Oklahoma State and is alleged to have placed 26 bets on ISU sporting events, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Register. 

College athletes caught betting on their own games could face a lifetime ban, according to NCAA regulations. Two other current Iowa State athletes, offensive lineman Dodge Sauser and wrestler Paniro Johnson, were also charged, as was former ISU defensive lineman Enyi Uwazurike. A second-year member of the Denver Broncos, Uwazurike was suspended by the NFL last month for violating the league’s gambling policy.

Iowa State announced in May that it notified the NCAA of betting allegations involving “approximately” 15 active athletes from the football, wresting and track and field programs. Those charged Tuesday are accused of trying to disguise their identities while betting.

The Cyclones are beginning preseason practice this week but will have to prepare for the reality that it could be an inexperienced quarterback under center when they open the season against Northern Iowa on Sept. 2. Dekkers earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in 2022, throwing fo 3,044 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his first season as the starter. 

The other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster are redshirt freshman Rocco Becht, true freshman JJ Kohl and junior college transfer Tanner Hughes, who committed in May after the investigation into sports betting at ISU began. Of the trio, only Becht has seen Division I action, as he completed 7 of 15 passes in reserve action last season. 

Iowa also announced in May that it was cooperating with an investigation into student-athlete gambling. Hawkeyes’ coach Kirk Ferentz called on the NCAA to reconsider the severity of punishments for athletes caught gambling during his time at Big Ten Media Days last week.