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4 more Iowa athletes plead guilty in gambling case

Four former University of Iowa athletes who faced criminal charges in connection with a state investigation into illegal sports wagering have pleaded guilty to underage gambling in agreements reach with prosecutors in Iowa City.

Football players Arland Bruce IV, Reggie Bracy and Jack Johnson and basketball player Ahron Ulis originally were charged with tampering with records for allegedly falsifying information used to register accounts on mobile sports wagering apps.

Bruce, Bracy, Johnson and Ulis finalized plea deals last week. Bruce, Bracy and Ulis were fined $645. Johnson has agreed to pay a fine of the same amount, but a sentencing document for him did not appear in electronic court records Monday.

The same plea deals and fines were announced Sept. 6 for Iowa football player Aaron Blom, Iowa baseball player Gehrig Christensen and Iowa State football players Dodge Sauser, Hunter Dekkers and Jake Remsburg.

Blom, Christensen and Sauser are no longer members of their teams. Dekkers and Remsburg remain on the ISU football roster but have not played this season. Dekkers, a quarterback, and Remsburg, an offensive linemen, were projected starters.

In addition to criminal charges, all athletes involved in sports wagering were subject to NCAA penalties ranging from suspensions of varying lengths to permanent ineligibility.

Since Aug. 1, nine athletes from Iowa State and six from Iowa have been charged in the investigation announced in May. Two Iowa athletic staff members also were charged. The state Division of Criminal Investigation has not commented on the circumstances triggering the investigation.

All of the athletes were alleged to have registered or DraftKings sports wagering app accounts under the names of other people, usually family members, to disguise their identities as NCAA athletes and the fact they were under the legal gambling age of 21 at the time.

Prosecutors originally charged the athletes with tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and fines.

Bruce and Bracy transferred to other schools after last season. Oklahoma State suspended Bruce and Troy suspended Bracy after the gambling charges were filed. Ulis transferred to Nebraska and was listed on the Cornhuskers’ roster Monday. Those three, plus Johnson, were accused of wagering on Iowa football or basketball games, or both, including some in which they played.

Legal proceedings have ended against the six Iowa athletes who were charged. Cases involving a student manager in football and another in men’s basketball continue.

Cases involving six Iowa State athletes continue in Ames, where the university is located.

Football players Jirehl Brock and Isaiah Lee waived preliminary hearings. No future hearings for them were listed in court records. Football player DeShawn Hanika has yet to make an appearance. Brock and Lee no longer are with the Cyclones. Hanika remains on the roster.

Basketball player Jeremiah Williams has a preliminary hearing set this week. Williams missed last season because of injury after transferring from Temple. He left last season and was listed on Rutgers’ roster Monday.

Wrestler Paniro Johnson and football player Eyioma Uwazurike each face a felony identity theft charge in addition to one each for tampering with records. Both have entered not guilty pleas and are scheduled to make court appearances next month. Uwazurike is on the Denver Broncos roster and suspended by the NFL for wagering on Broncos games last year.

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