The president of the University of Iowa issued a written statement yesterday about the status of Pierre Pierce, the former University of Iowa basketball player who faces serious criminal charges. Pierce was charged this week with assault with the intent to commit sexual abuse, first degree burglary and four other charges in connection with an altercation with his girlfriend at her West Des Moines home. University of Iowa president David Skorton issued a statement Thursday, calling the charges “serious and sobering.” Skorton, though, said he could not comment on Pierce’s status as a student, whether he will retain his scholarship or the outcome of the appeal Pierce has filed, asking to be reinstated on the Hawkeye basketball team. Skorton said he will be examining all sides of those issues in the days ahead. He said regardless of the outcome of the criminal case against Pierce, he wanted to “reiterate” strongly that “the University of Iowa does not and will not condone violent behavior.” Pierce’s last brush with the law — an assault that occured over two years ago in Iowa City — sparked protests on campus when he was allowed to keep his scholarship and sit out of competition for a year after pleading guilty to assault. Pierce, a 21-year-old junior, was the Hawkeyes’ leading scorer this season.
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