ADEL, Iowa -- Former Iowa basketball player Iowa basketball player Pierre Pierce
was charged Wednesday with burglary and domestic assault and spent
several hours in jail before he was released.
Pierce was also charged with burglary, false imprisonment,
assault with intent to commit sexual abuse and criminal mischief.
Pierce was released late Wednesday on his own recognizance.
The player's lawyer, Alfredo Parrish, said Pierce "intends to
fight these charges with every fiber in his soul." A preliminary
hearing was tentatively set for Feb. 21.
Pierce's father, Maurice, sat in the courtroom as his son was
led away by sheriff's deputies.
Pierce, the team's leading scorer, was kicked off the team after
police confirmed he was the subject of an investigation into a
matter at the townhouse of a former girlfriend.
Iowa coach Steve Alford said last week that Pierce "betrayed
the trust we placed in him when he was given a second chance two
years ago." Pierce was charged with third-degree sexual abuse in
2002. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
The case and the way it was handled by university administrators
and Alford sparked controversy across the state and prompted two
faculty-led inquiries critical of the response.
Pierce, a guard, led Iowa in scoring this season with a
17.8-point average. Since his dismissal, the Hawkeyes lost to Michigan State 75-64, and to Wisconsin 72-69 Wednesday
Iowa athletic officials have said Pierce will remain on
scholarship through this spring and his academic status is not
affected. Earlier, Parrish, said his 21-year-old client had not yet
decided whether to stay at Iowa or transfer.
Alford declined to comment on Pierce's charges following
Wednesday's game at Wisconsin, and his players said they'd been
instructed to defer questions to athletic director Bob Bowlsby.
"We're not supposed to have any comment on that," forward Greg