More Iowa, ISU players charged in betting probe

  • Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Senior WriterAug 10, 2023, 06:23 PM ET


    • College football reporter.
    • Joined in 2008.
    • Graduate of Northwestern University.

Four more Iowa State football players and three more members of the Iowa football program have been charged in the state’s investigation into sports wagering, which alleges that several athletes placed bets on games in which they played.

According to criminal complaints filed Thursday in district courts for Story and Johnson counties, the players face the charge of tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor, for allegedly concealing their identity in electronic wagering activities. The group includes Iowa State starting running back Jirehl Brock and three teammates with starting experience — offensive tackle Jake Remsburg, defensive tackle Isaiah Lee and tight end DeShawn Hanika.

Iowa wide receiver Jack Johnson was also charged, as were former Iowa players Arland Bruce IV and Reggie Bracy, who transferred to Oklahoma State and Troy, respectively. Iowa student manager Owen O’Brien was charged as well.

All four ISU athletes charged on Thursday have not been practicing. Oklahoma State said Bruce has been practicing with the team this month. Iowa had no comment on Johnson other than to say it continues to cooperate with the investigation.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison and a fine ranging from $855 to $8,540. According to the NCAA’s updated guidelines on gambling, athletes who wager on their own sports or others at their school can face permanent loss of eligibility. Another group of Iowa State and Iowa athletes was charged earlier this month in the state’s investigation, including ISU projected starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers. More than a dozen athletes have now been charged in the probe.

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“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 said in a statement. “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.”

According to an affidavit obtained by ESPN, Brock made 1,327 online wagers totaling more than $12,050 under a DraftKings account associated with a non-athlete. His wagers included three games in which he participated last season, against Iowa, Kansas State and Texas Tech. Brock, who allegedly made 13 wagers on ISU basketball games, has been held out of Iowa State’s preseason practices this month for undisclosed reasons.

Bruce and Bracy are alleged to have worked together in placing wagers while underage, using a DraftKings account registered to Vincent Bruce, who is over 21. Bruce, who started at wide receiver in portions of the past two seasons, made 11 wagers on games he played in during 2021 and eight on games he played in during 2022, according to an affidavit. He allegedly made 132 online wagers totaling more than $4,342. According to the affidavit, Bruce bet the under points total in a 2022 game against Northwestern and in the 2022 Music City Bowl against Kentucky.

An Oklahoma State spokesman told ESPN that the school is aware of the situation involving Bruce and continuing to gather information.

Bracy, who appeared in 14 games at Iowa, allegedly made 66 wagers totaling $715 while underage, including bets on games in which he played against Michigan and South Dakota State last season.

In a statement Thursday, Troy said Bracy has been suspended from all team-related activities as a result of the allegations against him.

Lee, a defensive lineman at ISU, is accused of placing wagers on a FanDuel account registered to his fiancée, including 21 involving 12 Iowa State games in which he played in during 2021 and 2022. He made a money-line wager on Texas against Iowa State in a 2021 game that ISU won 30-7.

According to an affidavit, Hanika used his mother’s DraftKings account to place 70 wagers on Iowa State basketball games and 288 total mobile/online wagers totaling more than $1,262. Remsburg used his mother’s online account to make 273 wagers, with six NCAA events involved. He told investigators he made the wagers under his mother’s name to avoid NCAA penalties and that he was aware of NCAA rules prohibiting athletes from gambling.

Attorney Mark Weinhardt said in a statement to ESPN that Hanika will enter a not guilty plea.

Johnson is accused of making wagers under his mother’s DraftKings account, including two Iowa games (one in 2021, one in 2022) in which he did not play. He allegedly made 380 wagers totaling more than $1,800 while underage. O’Brien is accused of making more than 350 wagers while underage using his mother’s FanDuel account, including three on Iowa football games while he was on staff last season.

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