Five current and former Iowa State football players have plead guilty to charges of underage gambling in a case that highlights the dangers of regulated sports betting and college-aged males. The five young were part of a betting scandal involving underage players betting on their own teams, sometimes from team facilities, that shook the college football world before football season even started.
Quarterback Hunter Dekkers and offensive lineman Jake Remsburg, former players Dodge Sauser and Aaron Blom and ex-ISU baseball player Gehrig Christensen all were originally charged with tampering of records in the case. That charge carried a potential two-year prison sentence and all involved seemed to agree that it didn’t really fit the situation.
Mark Weinhardt, who represents Dekkers, Remsburg and Sauser in the case explained the situation in comments reported on by the Gettysburg Times saying, “The original records tampering charge against these young men never fit this case, either legally or factually, Hunter, Jake and Dodge are not and never were guilty of that charge. The charge has nothing to do with gambling. Other than the fact that Hunter, Jake and Dodge placed some bets before they turned 21, nothing about those bets was a crime under Iowa law.”
The Iowa State betting scandal, which is believed to have impacted 26 athletes across five different sports, may just be the tip of the iceberg for student gambling troubles. The players seemed completely unaware of the seriousness of gambling on their teams. Many used sports betting accounts set up by their parents, which indicates that their parents don’t understand the seriousness of it either.
So far there’s no word on what penalties the players may face now that they’ve entered guilty pleas.