Iowa State QB Hunter Dekkers accused of gambling on Cyclones football game, other sports

Hunter Dekkers is facing potential permanent loss of NCAA eligibility after allegedly gambling on Iowa State sports

Hunter Dekkers allegedly placed 26 wagers on Iowa State sporting events, including a football game in 2021, when he was the Cyclones’ backup quarterback. (AP/Justin Hayworth)
Hunter Dekkers allegedly placed 26 wagers on Iowa State sporting events, including a football game in 2021, when he was the Cyclones’ backup quarterback. (AP/Justin Hayworth) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers was accused of betting on Cyclones sports, including a football game, in a new criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Dekkers was accused of placing 26 bets on Iowa State sporting events, according to a criminal complaint by the Story County Attorney’s Office. In total, Dekkers placed approximately 366 sports wagers through his DraftKings account that totaled “over $2,799.”

One of those bets included an Iowa State football game against Oklahoma State in 2021. The Cyclones beat Oklahoma State in that game, when Dekkers served as a backup to starting quarterback Brock Purdy. Dekkers did not play in that game. It’s unclear what bet he placed on that game specifically, or what other 25 Iowa State bets Dekkers allegedly placed.

According to the complaint, Dekkers’ parents “engaged in a scheme” with him to disguise his identity and make it seem like the bets he was placing were coming from his mom. Dekkers “routinely and consistently” placed bets on his personal phone while on campus, and he placed 297 of the 366 bets while underage.

Dekkers is also facing charges of tampering with records related to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s probe into sports gambling in the official complaint. That alleged offense occurred on Nov. 7, 2021, though specifics related to that charge are still unknown.

Dekkers is now facing the potential permanent loss of eligibility under the NCAA’s new gambling guidelines.

Dekkers denied the allegations made against him in a statement through his attorney on Tuesday night.

"This charge attempts to criminalize a daily fact of American life. Millions of people share online accounts of all kinds every day," his attorneys said in a statement, in part. "This prosecution interferes with and politicizes what is the business of Iowa State University and the NCAA. The investigation at the Iowa universities is the tip of an iceberg. Thousands and thousands of college athletes place bets — usually very small ones — with shared accounts. That is for the schools and the NCAA to police ... So he can focus on his studies and on the defense of this criminal charge, Hunter has informed the University and the coaching staff that he cannot participate in fall football camp."

Dekkers threw for 3,044 yards and 19 touchdowns with 14 interceptions last season while leading the Cyclones to a 4-8 record. Iowa State is set to open its season on Sept. 2 against Northern Iowa.

Two other Iowa State athletes were charged on Tuesday, too. Sophomore wrestler Paniro Johnson and sophomore offensive lineman Dodge Sauser also allegedly placed bets on Iowa State sports. Sauser allegedly bet on 12 Iowa State football games and wagered more than $3,000 on DraftKings, per The Des Moines Register. Sauser has not appeared in a single game. Johnson, who won a Big 12 title last season, allegedly bet more than $45,600 on nearly 1,300 bets — including 25 on Iowa State events.

Iowa and Iowa State announced in May that athletes at both schools had allegedly made online sports bets. Iowa said 26 athletes had allegedly placed online sports bets, including from the football and men’s basketball teams. Iowa State said “approximately 15” active athletes were allegedly involved, and one football player was among that group. Iowa State coach Matt Campbell was asked specifically about Dekkers at Big 12 media day last month, but did not address it.

"We'll kind of learn what happened in that situation here shortly, but it's a great teaching moment, and how to handle things when it doesn't go well, and how do you respond from that,” Campbell said. "Once it's time to have clarity to that and then respond to that the right way, I know our football team and certainly the young men in our team will do a great job of that."

A former Iowa baseball player was accused of gambling in a similar "scheme" with his mother on Tuesday night. Gehrig Christensen allegedly placed 559 underage wagers, including 23 on Iowa sporting events, per the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

The Iowa and Iowa State scandals are just the latest related to betting in the sports world in recent months. Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired in May after large and suspicious bets were made on Crimson Tide games.

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike, who played at Iowa State, was suspended indefinitely last month for gambling on NFL games last season. He was the 10th NFL player since April to be suspended for violating the league’s gambling policy. Uwazurike allegedly bet on two games he played in while at Iowa State in 2021, too.