Iowa defensive tackle Noah Shannon and Iowa State tight end DeShon Hanika will not return to action this season because the NCAA Council’s governing body requires all athletes who play on their school’s team — not including their own team — to sit out a losing season. One year qualification. The decision came Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what you need to know:
Shannon was hit with an NCAA suspension in August for gambling at an Iowa women’s basketball game last season. The appeal was denied by the NCAA. Hanika, a redshirt senior, was originally charged with a pair of misdemeanors related to gambling investigations at Iowa State and Iowa athletics. But on Oct. 2, Story County prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss those charges. Current NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators from gambling on any sport sponsored by the NCAA, including collegiate and professional sports.
What does this mean for Iowa?
With this season out and one year of eligibility, Shannon will not be able to return to the Hawkeyes. Shannon was originally one of three Iowa players returning for a sixth season.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed Shannon’s return in the fall, including at a news conference Tuesday.
“For me, it’s a personal opinion, I think it’s the right thing to do,” Ferenz said. “I’m not sure that will happen. But I have no doubt in my mind that it will be the right thing.
Shannon, who stands at 6-feet and weighs 295 pounds, finished his Iowa career with 107 career tackles, 11 for loss and 4 1/2 sacks. Last year, he recorded 8 1/2 tackles for loss. Shannon spent the fall working as a student assistant with the defensive line.
“He’s a great leader,” defensive end Deonta Craig said. “I think he brings all the little things, the lessons on the field, the adjustments in the game. He’s a great football player, a great person. And what you see is what you get with Noah Shannon.”
The decision also affects several Iowa wrestlers who were hoping for an immediate reinstatement but may now sit out the season or lose their eligibility entirely.
What does this mean for Iowa State?
Hanika (6-6, 255) led all Cyclone tight ends with 17 receptions for 244 yards and a team-high 14.4 yards per carry average in 2022. He also caught four touchdown passes last year. One season left.
Hanika played in 34 games for the Cyclones from 2020-2022. He redshirted at Butler (Kan.) Community College in 2019. Hanika, a two-time All-Big 12 academic honoree, already has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and is working on a master’s degree in entrepreneurship.
What are they saying?
“To be clear, Division I members do not encourage student-athletes to engage in sports betting at any level, and today’s measures to improve betting practices should not be interpreted as support for disgraceful behavior,” Mid-American Conference Committee and Commissioner John Steinbrecher, chairman of the council’s coordination committee, said in a statement. “The members of the NCAA continue to place a high priority on the integrity of competition and feel that the reinstatement of betting violations reflects that focus and facilitates educational opportunities for prevention where possible.”
“We are heartbroken for Noah (Shannon) and his family that the NCAA has reached this conclusion,” Ferentz said in a statement.
“Noah did not break any law. I have committed no crime. However, he is being heavily penalized by a membership committee that refuses to look at opinions or use common sense. I’ve said many times that I think it’s unique that Iowa State is the focus of this investigation. Noah is on the sidelines because the NCAA is making a decision based on an investigation they didn’t create, using a flawed justice system to severely punish a good young man. It’s just wrong.”
In the year Shannon, an All-Big Ten defensive honoree in 2022, admitted to playing on the Iowa women’s basketball team in the Final Four this spring. The NCAA suspended Shannon for the season and it was upheld on appeal. Shannon enrolled in the class.
Shannon and Hanika returned to football practice when the NCAA Division I Council announced on October 4 that it would re-examine the reinstatement guidelines for suspended athletes involved in sports betting.
Hanika is accused of committing 288 assaults, including 70 on Iowa State basketball, according to Story County court documents. Prosecutors missed the 45-day deadline to file charges from the time of Hanika’s preliminary hearing, and the charges were dismissed. Shannon was not charged with a crime in the investigation.
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