Former Simone Award winner charged in Iowa college sports gambling probe

Iowa wide receiver Arland Bruce IV (10) rushes for a 20-yard touchdown past Kentucky defensive...
Iowa wide receiver Arland Bruce IV (10) rushes for a 20-yard touchdown past Kentucky defensive back Jalen Geiger (34) during the second half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. According to a criminal complaint, Bruce's DraftKings account placed a wager on the Citrus Bowl game that he scored this touchdown in. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)(Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP)
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 5:26 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A former Kansas City metro high school player of the year is among those charged in a probe into illegal gambling by Iowa and Iowa State athletes.

Arland Bruce IV, who, while starring at Olathe North won the 2019 Thomas A. Simone Award as the best football player in the Kansas City metro, was charged along with several Hawkeye and Cyclone athletes with tampering with records.

The Johnson County, Iowa Attorney’s Office filed the charges, which cite subpoenaed records alleging that Bruce IV engaged in a scheme with Vincent Bruce, allowing Bruce IV to disguise his identity and manipulate mobile transactions on DraftKings to create the appearance that bets made by the Iowa wide receiver were made by Vincent Bruce.

The criminal complaint said that while engaging in the scheme, Bruce placed 19 wagers on Iowa football games while he was a member of the Iowa football program. Geo-tracking data allegedly links bets made on the account to Bruce IV’s known locations, including his university residence and “areas of the university not routinely open to the public.”

Bruce, who does not turn 21 until Sept. 26, 2023, allegedly placed 132 wagers while underage. The criminal complaint said Bruce IV risked $4,342 in his 132 bets. Eleven bets were made on Iowa football games during the 2021 season, including six games that Bruce participated in. The account Bruce IV was using also placed eight wagers on Iowa football games during the 2022 season, with six of them coming in games Bruce IV suited up for.

In one instance, the criminal complaint alleges that Bruce IV placed a bet on the under during an Iowa-Northwestern game on Oct. 29, 2022. With the total set at 37.5 points, Bruce rushed for a 23-yard touchdown with 5:13 remaining in the fourth quarter. Bruce’s touchdown gave Iowa a 33-7 lead and resulted in the account’s under bet losing.

In all, Iowa had a 7-5 record in games Bruce IV wagered on during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Following the 2022 season, Bruce IV transferred to Oklahoma State. In two seasons at Iowa, he caught 44 passes for 396 yards and two touchdowns and ran for four touchdowns. Sports gambling is expressly prohibited to all NCAA athletes, leaving Bruce IV’s eligibility in peril before his first season with Oklahoma State.

Bruce was a first-team All-State selection in Kansas as a junior in 2019, when he finished the season with 2,487 yards and 43 touchdowns on the ground en route to an appearance in the Kansas Class 6A state championship game. In 2018, as a quarterback, he was named a second-team All-State selection. He transferred to Ankeny High School in Iowa for his senior year. Bruce IV’s father, Arland Bruce III, won the Simone Award in 1995.

In Iowa, the charge of tampering with records is an aggravated misdemeanor, carrying potential penalties ranging from deferred judgment to a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison and a fine ranging between $855-$8540.

Other connections

Among the athletes connected to the criminal complaint is Iowa State starting running back Jirehl Brock. Brock is charged with placing 13 wagers on Iowa State Basketball events and 4 wagers on Iowa State football events while a player on the team, including a game against Kansas State.