The incoming University of Iowa president won’t comment on a campus committee’s report on the school’s handling of a sexual assault case involving basketball player Pierre Pierce. Pierce was charged with sexual abuse for an incident involving a woman who’s also an athlete at the school. He pleaded guilty to a reduce charge of assault causing injury, will sit out from competition a year and is retaining his scholarship. Dr. David Skorton was asked this morning if he draws the same conclusions as those on the review panel did. Skorton says he won’t be able to comment until acting University of Iowa president Willard Boyd formally receives the report and makes recommendations to Skorton.The review panel concluded Pierce’s status as an athlete appears to have dominated the concern of individuals involved, to the detriment of the university. Skorton would only call the case “an unfortunate set of circumstances.”Skorton says the system, though, appears to be working and he’d like to let the process continue to its conclusion. As for the big picture, Skorton says he’s “a Hawkeye fan” and believes “athletics have an important place in the university.”Skorton, though, says he will emphasize that student athletes are students first.
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