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Iowa Players Challenge ‘Warrantless’ Sports Betting Probe

Two former Iowa State football players who were caught up in a sports betting scandal that rocked the world of college athletics are calling a foul on the investigation that caused them so much trouble. Isaiah Lee and Eyioma Uwazurike, who both received sports betting related suspensions in 2023, have filed a motion challenging the investigator’s lack of a search warrant to begin probing into the gambling habits of student athletes.

Uwazurike caught a charge for felony identity theft as probe wore on while Lee was accused of placing more than 100 bets as player. Lee was also found to have wagered against his own team.

In court filings, their attorney alleges that investigators for the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation used a software tracking device to determine that the two men were gambling illegally. That’s all well and good, the attorney said, but in the absence of a search warrant the information gleaned from software is not admissible in court.

“The State’s argument that DCI agents began to identify irregular online/mobile sports wagging activity originating from state organizations that regularly participate in sanctioned sports wagering contests’ was actually the result of Special Agent Brian Sanger conducting a warrantless search on Iowa and Iowa State’s campuses,” the filling reads, according to reporting by Legal Sports Report.

The filling further suggests that DCI agents took information gleaned from the program after they were told by their superiors that information pulled from the program would not be admissible in court.

College athletes and state law enforcement officers will certainly be watching the outcome of this case as sports betting becomes a bigger issue, and challenge, for universities across the United States.