Iowa Gambling Authorities Launch Investigation Against Hawkeyes Baseball After Player Suspensions
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Fresh off the Alabama baseball betting scandal, another inquiry of the same ilk is underway.
On Monday, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission told Action Network it has launched an investigation into the University of Iowa’s baseball team after players were suspended for the team’s series against Ohio State this past weekend.
The email from Iowa’s gaming commission came on the heels of the university announcing on Friday that it withheld “some student-athletes” from its upcoming games “due to a potential violation.”
Two Iowa athletics spokespeople did not respond when asked if it pertained to gambling.
“The commission takes the integrity of gaming in the state seriously and is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide any additional information when able,” said Brian Ohorilko, the director of gaming for the state’s commission.
The university said in a release it received information on 111 individuals in total, including 26 current student-athletes from baseball, football, men’s basketball, men’s track and field and wrestling, along with one full-time employee in the athletics department.
The university also noted that “the vast majority of the individuals are student-staff, former student-athletes or those with no connection to UI Athletics.” The list also does not include any current or former coaches.
One day after the school received a list of individuals who had allegedly engaged in sports betting — May 5 — it notified “several” student-athletes they would not participate in upcoming competitions, notified the NCAA of potential infractions and sought legal guidance to advise the school and potentially lead an investigation.
Four players weren’t present this past weekend for Hawkeye baseball games, On3Sports’ Kyle Huesmann reported. Two of those players — infielder Keaton Anthony and relief pitcher Jacob Henderson — stood out as ones who regularly play.
Anthony leads the team in on base percentage, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. Henderson last pitched on May 2 vs. Illinois State — the Hawkeyes’ previous game.
Hours after Action Network reported the news regarding Iowa, Iowa State announced that 15 of its current student-athletes — across sports such as football, wrestling and track and field — have had “online sports wagering allegations” that go against NCAA rules.
“The university has notified the NCAA and will take the appropriate actions to resolve these issues,” the school said in a statement.
These cases come mere days after Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was fired after he was connected to suspicious wagering activity in Ohio.
A bettor in Ohio — who was on the phone with Bohannon when the decision to scratch Alabama’s best starter was made — placed two large wagers on LSU, the opposing team, at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ballpark. The game was slated to begin just hours later.
The Tide replaced their best pitcher, Luke Holman, with a reliever who hadn’t started a game in over a month.
Alabama lost, 8-6, and an independent organization filed a report to state gaming commissions across the country indicating potential malfeasance.
To date, four states have halted all wagering on Alabama baseball.
Sources told Action Network that there isn’t any information that points to Alabama players being in on any bet.
Like Alabama, Iowa has postseason prospects. The Hawkeyes had been ranked in the Top 25 for a chunk of the season and may play a big part come June, when the NCAA Tournament and College World Series take place.
At 34-12, only two of their losses have occurred against a sub-.500 team — Illinois State on March 28 and Ohio State on May 7.
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