Let Us Pray

Sports Betting Rocks Iowa Universities

“Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.” – Proverbs 15:27

In recent days, issues related to sports betting have literally rocked two prominent universities in Iowa, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. The result of gambling investigations between the two schools have culminated in criminal charges filed against seven individuals that include both current and former college athletes.

The two most notable individuals who were charged are Ahron Ulis, an ex-Hawkeyes basketball player, and Hunter Dekkers, who is the current quarterback for Iowa State University’s football team. The NCAA, which is the largest governing body of collegiate sports in the United States, prohibits college athletes and athletic department employees from sports gambling even if sports betting is legal in their state.

The Cyclones starting quarterback, Hunter Dekkers, has been accused of putting bets on twenty-six Iowa State athletic events. Ahron Ulis, the ex-basketball player at the University of Iowa, who recently transferred to Nebraska, allegedly placed numerous bets between February 2021 and December 2022 that totaled $34,800, and at least one of those bets was placed on a Hawkeyes sporting event.

All of this serves as a sobering reminder that sports betting is not an innocent act and that it preys on human nature to act unethically at times. Stories like these remind us that human nature can easily be preyed upon and be convinced to act unethically at times in hopes of unearned gain, and in these cases, financial gain. Ultimately, gambling in all of its forms is a stumbling block to societal prosperity, flourishing, and fruitfulness.

Father, may our society at large understand the negative consequences that the vice of gambling brings along with it. Lord, we pray that Americans at large will see the beauty in honest work that leads to financial reward. Father, help our nation to have Your wisdom and see gambling as a waste of our resources that ultimately You have provided for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.