Multiple Iowa State athletes, including football players, allegedly participated in online gambling as more cases pop up around the college landscape. At least 15 players across multiple reports have been implicated in the probe, according to the university. In addition to football players, wrestling and track athletes were allegedly involved in the rule-breaking. No details of the violations were released at the time, and it’s unclear what punishments these players could face.
“The university has notified the NCAA and will take the appropriate actions to resolve those issues,” said an Iowa State statement.
Gambling is legal in the state of Iowa, but athletes are barred from participating through NCAA rules to avoid potential conflicts of interest or tampering in competition.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has already opened an investigation into Iowa’s baseball team surrounding alleged violations. Four players did not participate in the Hawkeyes’ series against Ohio State. Alabama fired baseball coach Brad Bohannon on Thursday after reports of “suspicious wagering activity.” It was later alleged that Bohannon was directly communicating with a gambler as bets were placed.
“Ensuring the integrity of athletic competition is our highest priority, and for that purpose, the SEC monitors gambling activity through its relationship with US Integrity and has done so since 2018,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement.
Sports betting expanded to more than 30 states in the past five years. Iowa legalized both retail and online gambling starting August 2019. Notably, the Pac-12 hired George Kliavkoff, a former executive at MGM Resorts International, as its new commissioner in July 2021. The Mid-American Conference also reached a deal with Genius Sports in March 2022 to distribute statistics in real time, which has been used for gambling purposes.