Yesterday, the athletic department of the University of Iowa released an official statement trying to clarify some details amidst an ongoing series of suspensions faced by professional Iowa athletes who have been competing in various sports. The statement came only hours after six Iowa wrestlers faced suspensions from the sport.
The University and its athletic department have cooperated with the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), especially when it comes to the student-athlete reinstatement (SAR) staff. Apart from that, the University is set to support any student-athletes that got suspended over allegations of illegal gambling throughout the appeals process for reinstatement. As the statement reads, NCAA guidelines set forth a process for an appeal of the decision of the student-athlete reinstatement staff, and the University of Iowa willing to support student-athletes who decide to move forward with the appeals process.
As previously reported, the punishments imposed by the National Collegiate Athletics Association for illegal betting on sports among athletes include a lifetime ban from sports.
Several athletes who have faced allegations of placing illegal wagers while at Iowa have since then graduated or transferred to other schools. The statement issued by the University of Iowa on August 22nd indicates that, among the student-athletes who have faced some penalties, 11 have gotten a ruling, of sorts, from the NCAA’s SAR unit. The school, however, is not expected to name the athletes until it receives their consent under the Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Student-Athletes May Face Lifelong Ban If Found Guilty of Illegal Sports Wagering
Although the University of Iowa did not name the student-athletes involved in the investigation, there has already been some information regarding their identity.
Noah Shannon, a football defensive lineman, issued a release in July, acknowledging that he is involved in an investigation carried out by the National Collegiate Athletics Association.
Other names of student-athletes who might be potentially involved in the investigation have also become apparent due to the probe that is being carried out by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation into sports betting. Reportedly, two current football players of the University of Iowa – wide receiver Jak Johnson and kicker Aaron Blom – face charges of tampering with records, along with allegations of placing wagers on their own team. Several former football athletes and other teams have also faced similar allegations. If the allegations faced by Johnson and Blom over their reported betting activity are proven in court, the due risks of potentially facing penalties for their collegiate eligibility in all sports.
For the time being, the severity of the allegations and the severity of the potential consequences for the student-athletes who have not faced charges of the criminal probe remain unclear.
A spokesperson for the athletics department at the University of Iowa has refused to comment on either the nature or the severity of the penalties for the time being.
Earlier this summer, the NCAA published its updated guidelines with penalties ranging from obligatory education on sports betting to permanent loss of eligibility.