The interim president of the University of Iowa says the criminal case revolving around a Hawkeye athlete may have given the university a black eye. Basketball player Pierre Pierce was accused of rape and a plea bargain keeps him out of jail. He retained his athletic scholarship, although he’ll sit out of competition for a year. University of Iowa interim president Willard “Sandy” Boyd discussed the case on the Iowa Public Television program “Iowa Press.” Boyd says nothing was done that would compromise the university’s code of student life or anti-violence policies. But Boyd is concerned about the impact the case has had on the university’s reputation. Boyd says he’s worried a great deal about a number of things, like the atmosphere on campus and discussions about pending litigation. Critics contend Pierce received special treatment, as an athlete, that other students on academic scholarship would not have gotten. Boyd says that’s why he asked the university’s athletic committee to examine that case. Boyd says he doesn’t want athletes to get “special treatment.”Boyd says Hawkeye athletics are a valuable marketing tool for the university as a whole and the state also benefits from the exposure of the athletic teamsBoyd says people know about Iowa, in part, because of the athletic programs at the University of Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I. Boyd says the University of Iowa benefits from its association with the Big Ten athletic conference. Boyd says the Big Ten has set high standards for both athletics and academics. Boyd says his overall position on the financing of athletic programs at the university is that they should pay their own way, which means athletic programs are financed by ticket sales and fundraising and not by taxpayer dollars. Boyd says the exception to that came when women’s athletic programs were established.
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