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Student government votes down boycott

12/11/2002

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa's interim president received two
petitions protesting the school's handling of the sexual assault
case involving basketball player Pierre Pierce.

The petitions, totaling more than 3,000 signatures, were given
to William ''Sandy'' Boyd on Monday. Boyd told the two groups who
gathered the signatures he was ''exceedingly upset'' about the
case.

''I deplore the whole situation,'' he said.

The petitioners are upset Pierce was allowed to remain on the
team and keep his scholarship. He practices with the team but does
not play in games or sit on the bench.

On Tuesday night, student government representatives voted down
a resolution urging students to boycott men's basketball games
after a half hour of debate. The petition had urged season ticket
holders to ask the athletic department for a refund or to transfer
their tickets to another athletic team.

Pierce's attorney, Alfredo Parrish, called the petitions and
boycott resolution ''absolutely ridiculous.''

''These people don't know the facts,'' Parrish said. ''And in an
academic environment, we are trained to learn the facts before we
reach a conclusion.''

Pierce, a sophomore guard, pleaded guilty last month to assault
causing injury and was not given jail time. He initially had been
charged with third-degree sexual abuse but struck a deal with
prosecutors.

Boyd has ordered the university's Board in Control of Athletics
to investigate with help from school administrators.

A petition started by law school student Alicia Walker had 1,873
signatures. The Women's Resource and Action Center at the
university collected 1,230 signatures.