Suspended Bronco Uwazurike linked to criminal gambling probe

Suspended Bronco Uwazurike linked to criminal gambling probe

Denver defensive tackle Eyioma Uwazurike was suspended indefinitely by the NFL last week for betting on NFL games during the 2022 season. He will miss the 2023 campaign and must petition for reinstatement no sooner than July 24 of 2024.

Now Uwazurike has been linked to the criminal investigation in Ames, where current and former Iowa St. athletes have been accused of betting on Cyclone sporting events.

The Des Moines Register reported Tuesday that Iowa prosecutors say Uwazurike controlled a FanDuel account that made 801 wagers of “over $21,361,” including bets on both Denver and Iowa St. football games that he played in.

Prosecutors claim Uwazurike placed bets on four Broncos games when he was inactive last season, and he wagered on another game against Arizona on Dec. 18. He was active in that game, playing 29 snaps and recording a pair of tackles.

It remains unclear whether or not Uwazurike was betting on or against Denver last season. Nevertheless, any athlete in any sport making a bet on a game he or she plays in is a serious breach of conduct that could be career-ending.

Iowa prosecutors are alleging that Uwazurike tampered with records and attempted to conceal his identity by using a friend, Rachel Louise Francis, to make mobile gambling transactions as if she were making the bets instead of him.

Uwazurike is the former Iowa St. football player we alluded to in our story about Hunter Dekkers and other Cyclone athletes.

Prosecutors in Iowa are accusing Uwazurike of betting on four Iowa St. games, including two that he played in during the 2021 campaign.

Uwazurike played in a 27-17 loss at 10th-ranked Iowa, which beat the ninth-ranked Cyclones as a 4.5-point road underdog. He also played in Iowa St.’s 59-7 win over Kansas in which it easily covered the spread as a 34.5-point home ‘chalk.’

Although it’s legal to bet on sports in Colorado, it’s illegal to wager on a sport that one is participating in.

Uwazurike was selected by Denver with the No. 116 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He played in eight games for the Broncos as a rookie, contributing 17 tackles, two QB Hits and one pass broken up.

Uwazurike played at Iowa St. for five seasons from 2017-2021. He played in 55 career games, producing 146 tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, three PBU, two fumble recoveries and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Uwazurike has a court hearing in Iowa on Aug. 16. If convicted of the charges he’s facing, he could spend up to two years in prison.

Leave a Reply