Gaming commission investigating Iowa after possible NCAA violation

May 8, 2023, 4:59 PM

The Iowa Gaming Commission confirmed Monday that it is investigating Iowa athletics after the university announced on Friday that it withheld athletes from competition due to a potential NCAA violation.

"There is an ongoing investigation into these matters and we are unable to comment further at this time," the Iowa Gaming Commission said in a statement. "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."

On Friday, Iowa released a statement saying it had "withheld some student-athletes from competition" due to "a potential NCAA violation." The statement was released after an Iowa-Ohio State baseball game in response to why an unnamed student-athlete was not in the lineup.

A spokesperson for the NCAA told ESPN in an email that, "Due to confidentiality rules put in place by NCAA member schools, the NCAA does not comment on current, pending or potential investigations."

The Iowa investigation comes days after Alabama fired baseball coach Brad Bohannon amid an investigation into suspicious betting activity on the Crimson Tide's game against LSU on April 28. Sportsbook surveillance video indicated that the person who placed the bets was communicating with Bohannon at the time, multiple sources with direct information about the investigation told ESPN. That investigation is ongoing.

Later Monday, Iowa State said it was aware of online sports betting allegations that the university said involves about 15 active student-athletes in football, wrestling and track and field. The school said it has notified the NCAA and will "take the appropriate actions to resolve the issues." 

Iowa is among the 33 states that has launched legal betting markets in the last five years, since a decision from the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal statute that had restricted regulated sports betting to primarily Nevada.