Iowa, ISU Athletes File Lawsuit After Sports Gambling Probe

Iowa, ISU Athletes File Lawsuit After Sports Gambling Probe

26 current and former college athletes filed a federal lawsuit claiming the Iowa DCI violated their constitutional rights during its gambling probe.

Apr 27, 2024
Iowa, ISU Athletes File Lawsuit After Sports Gambling Probe

More than two dozen current and former college athletes, including six Iowa wrestlers, have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation violated their constitutional rights by executing a warrantless search during the agency’s sports wagering probe. 

The lawsuit, filed Friday, claims DCI agents illegally used geofencing software to check whether people were opening gambling apps inside university athletic facilities and searched phones belonging to student-athletes without search warrants. 

Twenty-six athletes are listed as plaintiffs, including Iowa wrestlers Nelson Brands, Tony Cassioppi, Abe Assad, Cobe Siebrect, Cullan Schriever and Patrick Kennedy. 

The NCAA handed down season-long suspensions to Brands, Cassioppi, Assad and Siebrecht for violating its sports wagering rules, while Schriever and Kennedy served shorter penalties. 

“Due to DCI’s actions and/or failures to legally investigate the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs were all indicted and some convicted, severely upending their lives, collegiate careers, and future opportunities, as set forth below,” attorneys Matt Boles and Van Plumb wrote in the 47-page lawsuit

The athletes are seeking damages for “deprivation of their constitutional rights; humiliation, degradation, public ridicule, loss of personal reputation, emotional distress; actual and compensatory damages, including, but not limited to past, present, and future pain and suffering and medical expenses; punitive damages; all expenses associated with the prosecution of this action, including, but not limited to, court costs, anticipated discovery expenses, anticipated expert expenses, and the maximum legally allowable judgment interest and any other expenses allowed by federal or state law.”

In addition to the Iowa wrestlers, the plaintiffs include:

— Iowa baseball players Keaton Anthony, Gehrig Christensen, Jacob Henderson and Benjamin Tallman. 

— Iowa basketball player Ahron Ulis. 

— Iowa football players Aaron Blom, Reggie Bracy, Arland Bruce IV, Jack Johnson and Noah Shannon.  

— Iowa State basketball player Jeremiah Williams. 

— Iowa State football players Jirehl Brock, Howard Brown, Hunter Dekkers, DeShawn Hanika, Isaiah Lee, Jake Remsburg, Dodge Sauser and Eyioma Uwazurike. 

— Ellsworth Community College baseball player Jake English. 

The defendants in the case are the State of Iowa, Iowa Department of Public Safety, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, DPS commissioner Stephan Bayens, DCI director Paul Feddersen, assistant DCI director David Jobes, DCI special agent in charge of the DCI sports wagering unit Troy Nelson and DCI agent Brian Sanger.