Edmonton Elks sign REC Arland Bruce IV, son of former CFL all-star, after Iowa gambling scandal

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The Edmonton Elks have signed American receiver Arland Bruce IV, the son of the former CFL all-star of the same name.

Bruce played 25 games over two seasons at the University of Iowa but saw his collegiate career come to an end due to an illegal gambling scandal. He was one of five student-athletes from either Iowa or Iowa State charged by state prosecutors in August of 2023 with placing bets on games in which they participated.

The 21-year-old pled guilty to the lesser charge of underage gambling in September and was issued a $645 fine. According to the complaint against him, he engaged in a scheme with Vincent Bruce, who was of age, to make bets on his behalf through a DraftKings account. In total, he was accused of making 132 wagers valued at over $4,342, including 19 wagers on 11 games he played during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Bruce allegedly bet the under on total points in a 2022 game against Northwestern in which he played. He caught two passes for 19 yards and carried three times for 27 yards in the 33-13 victory, scoring the touchdown that caused the game to hit the over.

The five-foot-10, 193-pound athlete transferred to Oklahoma State for the 2023 season but was ruled ineligible by the NCAA due to his criminal charge. Rather than seek reinstatement, he leaves school with 44 career receptions for 396 yards and two touchdowns, as well as 22 carries for 122 yards and four majors.

The CFL announced the development of a new match manipulation policy in May, with all players and staff undergoing mandatory education through the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). However, the CFLPA has said they have not received official guidelines for the punishments for gambling on games, with suspensions issued at the discretion of the commissioner.

Over the past two seasons, 10 NFL players have been suspended for gambling-related infractions, including Jacksonville Jaguars’ receiver Calvin Ridley. There’s no public record of the CFL ever issuing a suspension for sports gambling.

Arland’s father, Arland Bruce III, is best remembered for a different legal battle with the CFL, suing the league and its teams for downplaying the effects of repetitive head trauma and concussions. After he was unsuccessful in the B.C. provincial courts, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear Bruce’s case in March of 2018.

Prior to the lawsuit, the elder Bruce played 12 seasons in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, B.C. Lions, and Montreal Alouettes. He caught 767 passes for 11,609 yards and 94 touchdowns, earning three CFL all-star selections and winning two Grey Cups.