Iowa coach Ferentz comments on betting probe

August 12, 2023 by No Comments

For several weeks now, Kirk Ferentz has been aware that a number of his Iowa football players have been the subjects of an investigation pertaining to illicit gambling. However, it was only recently revealed to him that certain individuals were accused of placing bets on their own games, a revelation he made during the team’s media day on Friday.

On Thursday, former players Arland Bruce IV and Reggie Bracy, along with current player Jack Johnson, were charged with suspicion of tampering with records to conceal their status as college athletes and their underaged betting activities, as they were not yet 21 at the time of their wagers. Kicker Aaron Blom faced similar charges the previous week.

According to court documents, Bruce, Bracy, and Blom are alleged to have placed bets on Iowa football games in which they participated, a fact that Ferentz deemed a “deal-breaker” if substantiated. Johnson, on the other hand, is accused of placing bets on games he didn’t participate in, as well as other Iowa sporting events. An additional charge was brought against a student staffer. Bruce has since transferred to Oklahoma State, while Bracy transferred to Troy. The ongoing investigation has resulted in charges against a total of 15 athletes and staff members at both Iowa and Iowa State.

Ferentz mentioned that his team receives an annual briefing on NCAA rules that prohibit gambling and expressed the need to intensify their educational efforts in this regard.

The players’ wagers were made through FanDuel and DraftKings accounts registered under the names of third parties, typically close relatives aged 21 or above.

The tampering charges carry the potential for an aggravated misdemeanor punishment, entailing up to two years in prison and a fine, in addition to any disciplinary measures imposed by the NCAA.

In recent times, the NCAA has updated its gambling guidelines to impose a permanent ban on athletes found to have engaged in betting on their own games, manipulating game outcomes, participating in sports betting on their institution’s activities, or knowingly providing insider information to individuals involved in sports betting.

Despite these developments, the state Attorney General’s Office declined to provide insight into the factors that triggered the investigation. Notably, Iowa and Iowa State are the exclusive institutions where athletes have faced charges, and it remains unclear if athletes at other schools within the state are also under investigation.


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