Former Iowa kicker charged in gambling sting allegedly won a bet on the 2021 Iowa-Iowa State game

A former walk-on kicker at the University of Iowa was charged Wednesday in connection with wagering on Hawkeyes sports events — one day after Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers was accused of committing the same offense at his school.

Aaron Blom, who was on the Iowa roster from 2020-22, used a DraftKings Sportsbook account set up under his mother’s name and made about 170 mobile or online sports wagers before he turned 21, the legal gambling age in the state, according to the criminal complaint filed in Johnson County, Iowa.

The wagers totaled over $4,400, with about eight placed on Iowa sporting events. One of the bets included the 2021 Iowa-Iowa State football game, according to the complaint.

Blom is also accused in the complaint of tampering with records related to an Iowa Criminal Division investigation into sports gambling.

The bet Blom placed on the rivalry game was an over-under wager, which requires the bettor to choose whether the teams will combine for more or less than a designated combined point total. The over-under for the game was 45 points, and Iowa won 27-17 for a total of 44 points. Blom, who did not participate in the game, chose the under, according to the complaint.

His mother, Michelle Blom, told the Department of Criminal Investigations that the DraftKings account was registered under her name and used by her son with her consent and knowledge. Blom and his parents acknowledged they knew about his online wagering activity and agreed that he would be responsible for any tax implications.

The complaint did not list an attorney for Blom.

Blom, from Oskaloosa, Iowa, appeared in two games for the Hawkeyes, both last year. He kicked a 46-yard field goal against South Dakota State and kicked an extra point against Iowa State.

Dekkers is accused in a criminal complaint of placing 366 online bets worth more than $2,799. According to documents, those bets included 26 Iowa State athletic events and a 2021 football game with Oklahoma State when Dekkers was a backup. He did not play in the game, which Iowa State won 24-21.

Dekkers was expected to be the second-year starting quarterback for the Cyclones this season. His attorney said he would skip preseason camp.

In May, officials at Iowa State and Iowa announced they were cooperating with state gaming regulators who were investigating illegal online gambling on their campuses. Iowa said it identified 26 athletes in various sports that might have also compromised their NCAA eligibility. Iowa State at the time said about 15 athletes across three sports were suspected of violating gambling rules.

Three other current or former Iowa State athletes are facing the same charge, according to state online court records. Those include former Cyclones defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike, who was drafted by Denver in 2022 and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for betting on Broncos games during his rookie season.

Also charged with tampering with records connected to the investigation, according to state online records, are offensive lineman Dodge Sauser and wrestler Paniro Johnson.

Dekkers participated in a scheme with his parents, Scott Dekkers and Jami Dekkers, to conceal his online gambling and made it appear that bets placed by Hunter Dekkers were made by his mother, the complaint said.

His attorney, Mark Weinhardt, said Dekkers would plead not guilty to the criminal charge.

Experts have predicted that college sports will continue to see gambling scandals as betting becomes more accepted in states following a Supreme Court ruling five years ago. The topic grabbed headlines earlier this year after Alabama’s baseball coach, Brian Bohannon, and two Cincinnati baseball staffers were let go due to their connection to gambling investigations.

The NCAA recently stiffened punishment for athletes found to have bet on their games, influenced the outcome of those games, bet on other sports at their school or knowingly provided information to someone engaged in sports betting.

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