Five current or former Iowa State athletes have submitted guilty pleas to underage gambling as part of a state investigation into sports betting.

The pleas by quarterback Hunter Dekkers and offensive lineman Jake Remsburg, plus former players Dodge Sauser and Aaron Blom and ex-ISU baseball player Gehrig Christensen, were to reduced charges of underage gambling.

The original charge collectively dropped for the quintet – tampering with records – would have carried a maximum penalty of two years in prison. However, each athlete will now pay a $645 fine. None will face further criminal action.

Reduced charges

“The original records tampering charge against these young men never fit this case, either legally or factually,” attorney Mark Weinhardt, who represents Dekkers, Remsburg and Sauser, said in a statement.

“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.”

Underage gambling

More than a dozen current or former Iowa State and Iowa athletes have been charged so far. Several admitted to using online accounts belonging to their parents or others over the age of 21 to place a bet. The first round of charges were issued on 1 August, with more added later in the month.

In May, the University of Iowa reported 26 athletes across five sports were suspected of betting on sports. Betting on sports is against National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) rules.

NCAA rules

Several athletes placed bets on games featuring their own team – breaking a rule that could bring suspensions from the NCAA.

“Since becoming aware of potential NCAA eligibility issues related to sports wagering by several of our student athletes back in May, Iowa State university has been actively working to address these issues with the involved student athletes and that process remains ongoing,” Iowa State senior athletics director Nick Joos said last month.

“We will continue to support our student athletes as our compliance staff works with the NCAA to sort out questions surrounding their future eligibility for athletics competition.”

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