Student government votes down boycott

Updated: December 11, 2002, 2:03 AM ET
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press