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Starting DT Noah Shannon suspended for season; Iowa to appeal

Associated Press, ESPN

Iowa defensive tackle Noah Shannon, who has acknowledged his involvement in sports wagering, has been suspended for the season, coach Kirk Ferentz announced Wednesday.

Ferentz told reporters in Iowa City that the school would appeal the NCAA’s decision.

Shannon has not been charged in the state’s criminal investigation of illegal sports wagering by athletes at Iowa and Iowa State. The senior from Aurora, Illinois, has started 28 games and came out of spring listed No. 1 at left defensive tackle.

Ferentz said Shannon made at least one wager on an event involving a Hawkeyes team in another sport, which is an NCAA violation punishable by a permanent loss of eligibility.

Shannon said on Aug. 11 that he had cooperated with the NCAA and provided information.

“They’re taking their time doing their investigation, and I can’t be mad at them for that,” he said. “I mean, I broke a rule. I owned up to it.”

Ferentz said Shannon, who spent the offseason rehabbing an injury, will be allowed to practice and otherwise be with the team. The suspension prohibits him only from playing in games.

“In Noah’s case, he has not committed a crime at all. Nothing criminal,” Ferentz said. “I just feel like it’s a little bit harsh. I think it’s punitive, me personally, and I’m hopeful they’ll reconsider his case.”

Two current Iowa players, kicker Aaron Blom and wide receiver Jack Johnson, have been charged with tampering with records in the gambling case. Both are suspected of making wagers while under the legal age of 21 and placing them on mobile sports wagering accounts registered under the names of other people.

Blom and Johnson are walk-ons, and Ferentz did not provide updates on their status. Blom is suspected of placing a bet on an Iowa football game as well as multiple bets on other contests involving other Iowa teams. Johnson is alleged to have made bets on Iowa football and men’s basketball games.

According to electronic court records, Blom has not entered a plea and Johnson has pleaded not guilty. The tampering charge stems from the players allegedly attempting to disguise their identities as NCAA athletes and being underage. The aggravated misdemeanor is punishable by up to two years in prison and fines.

The Iowa athletic department issued a statement Tuesday announcing 11 athletes will have their eligibility impacted as a result of the investigation. The athletic department said it could not identify the athletes without their consent.

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