Alford rejects appeal of troubled guard

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa coach Steve Alford on Tuesday
rejected an appeal by Pierre Pierce to reconsider his dismissal
from the basketball team.

Alford met with Pierce for about 15 minutes Tuesday. Pierce, the
team's leading scorer, was dismissed from the team two weeks ago
after police confirmed he was the focus of an investigation.

His next step is to appeal Alford's decision in writing to Iowa
athletic director Bob Bowlsby. Bowlsby has said Pierce will remain
on scholarship for the rest of this school year.

Pierce was charged last week with burglary, domestic assault,
assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, false imprisonment and
criminal mischief. The most serious charge, first-degree burglary,
carries a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison upon

Matt Boles, a lawyer for Pierce, said it is important for Pierce
to exhaust all avenues of the appeals process. He acknowledged it's
unlikely Pierce will be able to get back on the team with three
weeks remaining in the season.

Alfredo Parrish, Pierce's lawyer in the criminal case, filed a
motion Friday to dismiss the burglary charge.