Iowa student-athletes under investigation by Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission

The investigation comes after several Hawkeye baseball players were suspended from Iowa’s three-game series this past weekend against Ohio State.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

A baseball game between Iowa and Wisconsin-Milwaukee is seen at Duane Banks Field on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Panthers, 12-1.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Committee launched an investigation into the Iowa baseball team on Monday after several Hawkeyes were suspended this past weekend against Ohio State, according to a report by Darren Rovell from the Action Network.

“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,” Brian Ohorilko, the director of gaming for the state’s commission, said in Rovell’s article.

Catchers Ben Tallman and Gehrig Christensen, right-handed pitcher Jacob Henderson, and designated hitter Keaton Anthony were absent from the lineup, according to On3’s Kyle Huesmann, but it is unknown exactly how many players were withheld from the three-game series against the Buckeyes. 

Tallman and Christensen have combined for 14 starts this season, while Henderson has appeared in 18 games out of the bullpen, pitching 14.1 innings with a 6.91 ERA. Anthony, who had started all 43 contests for the Hawkeyes and led the team batting .389, missed the entire series. There is currently no timetable for these players’ return to the diamond.

After Iowa’s 16-9 series-opening victory last Friday, the Iowa athletic department released a statement.

“Due to a potential NCAA violation, we withheld some student-athletes from competition,” the statement read. “We will have no additional comments as this is an ongoing investigation.”

There is no evidence at this time that Hawkeye athletes were betting on their own games and no states have stopped bets on Iowa baseball.

Around 5 p.m. on Monday, the University of Iowa’s office of strategic communication released a statement that the university has received information about 111 individuals involved in the wagering scandal, including 26 current student-athletes from baseball, football, men’s track and field, men’s basketball, and men’s wrestling. The investigation also includes one full-time employee of the UI Department of Athletics.

“The University of Iowa and the Department of Athletics are aware of the sports wagering investigation and are fully cooperating,” the statement read. “We have alerted the NCAA of the potential violations and we have hired outside counsel to assist in the investigative process.”

The university added that the list doesn’t include any current or former coaches.

The Board of Regents also issued a statement and said it is aware of the potential NCAA violations against several Iowa student-athletes and is closely monitoring the situation.

This news comes after Alabama baseball head coach Brad Bohannon was linked to suspicious wagering activity in Ohio and fired on April 28.

Just hours before the Crimson Tide were set to play LSU, a bettor in Ohio — who was on the phone with Bohannon when the decision to scratch Alabama’s ace pitcher, Luke Holman, was made — placed two large wagers at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ballpark, according to Rovell. Holman was replaced with Hagan Banks, who hadn’t started a game in over a month, and Alabama lost, 8-6.

An independent organization then filed a report to state gaming commissions across the country indicating potential malfeasance. As of now, four states have halted all wagering on Alabama baseball.