Dismissed player made court appearance

Updated: February 10, 2005, 12:55 AM ET
Associated Press

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 night.

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 Brunner said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press