Three Iowa Student-Athletes Face Criminal Charges in Gambling Sting

Three Iowa Student-Athletes Face Criminal Charges in Gambling Sting

Three Iowa Student-Athletes Face Criminal Charges in Gambling Sting

Three student-athletes from the University of Iowa, including former Hawkeyes basketball player Ahron Ulis, baseball player Gehrig Christensen, and football team backup kicker Aaron Blom, are now facing criminal charges related to sports gambling. The Iowa Criminal Division charged a total of seven student-athletes in the gambling probe conducted on Monday.

Iowa State Student-Athletes Also Implicated

Four student-athletes from Iowa State University were accused of gambling on their own school’s events, including three football players – quarterback Hunter Dekkers, defensive line star Eyioma Uwazurike, and offensive lineman Dodge Sauser – who placed wagers on their own games. Additionally, Big 12 wrestling champion Paniro Johnson allegedly made over 1,250 wagers. According to the complaint, Dekkers, Sauser, and Johnson were underage and used other accounts to place bets.

NFL Suspension for Uwazurike Over Betting Violation

Eyioma Uwazurike, a fourth-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos, faced an indefinite suspension by the NFL for betting on games during his rookie season in 2022. He was one of ten NFL players suspended for violating the league’s strict gambling policy last season.

In May, the NCAA was informed of the ongoing investigation into gambling violations involving student-athletes from both Iowa State and the University of Iowa. One of the implicated athletes, basketball starter Ahron Ulis, had an extensive record of bets, placing wagers on a Fan Duel account set up by his brother, totaling more than $34,800 between February 2021 and December 2022. At least 740 of those bets were made when Ulis was underage. Ulis bet on 430 total NCAA football and basketball games, including at least one Iowa sporting event. However, he transferred to Nebraska in the off-season to play under head coach Fred Hoiberg.

Gehrig Christensen, a catcher on the Iowa baseball team, also faced charges after placing wagers at DraftKings using an account in his mother’s name, totaling $2,400 in 559 different wagers, with most of them on NBA games. He is no longer with the baseball team.

Aaron Blom, a football backup kicker, who was also recognized for his academic achievements, was involved in the scandal, making 170 bets totaling $4,400 using an account under his mother’s name.

The charges have put a spotlight on sports gambling among student-athletes and the potential consequences they may face as a result of their actions.

About the author

Jennifer Lynn
Head of Content
Jennifer Lynn has spent 14 years working in the online casino industry, making her a real expert in the field. She's not just skilled at writing about casinos; she also has a deep interest in online gambling games and is a passionate researcher and player. Jennifer offers her expertise on a range of casino games and the smart strategies to use. But her life isn't all about gambling and casinos. She also loves riding horses and practicing yoga, showing that she knows how to balance her professional interests with personal passions.

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