Even on a European exhibition tour meant to be part business and part vacation, the Hawkeyes can’t get a break from one of the team’s most notorious former players.
Pierre Pierce didn’t just make waves by showing up as a member of Hyeres-Toulon, the professional team Iowa was slated to play on Monday night. He hit the game-winning shot.
On Twitter after the game…
Hyeres-Toulon was credited with an 84-82 overtime win, the first loss handed to the Hawkeyes on their exhibition tour.
Iowa’s press release sent from Toulon made no mention of Pierce’s basket, just how Aaron White tied the game at the end of regulation with a lob pass from Devyn Marble.
From the release: “Hyeres-Toulon scored in the final seconds to post the two-point victory.”
Pierce was twice involved in sexual assault cases during his Iowa career. He is now 30 years old.
A female student-athlete accused him of sexual assault in 2002 and he sat out the 2002-03 season after pleading guilty to assault causing injury as part of a settlement.
A highly-publicized trial in 2005 resulted in a plea bargain, which Pierce was found guilty on reduced charges of third-degree burglary, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, false imprisonment and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He served nearly a year in prison.
Pierce played with Hyeres-Toulon in the 2012-13 season, but was most recently with Cholet.
Iowa Sports Information director Steve Roe said UI officials were unaware until walking into the gymnasium Monday that Pierce, who scored a game-high 29 points, was a member of the team that would be facing Iowa. Roe said an outside booking agency picked the opponents for the six-game European tour.
The Iowa Supreme Court had to rule on Pierce going to France in the first place. A 2008 hearing allowed him to leave the country while he was still on probation.
Iowa plays its sixth and final game on Tuesday, taking on Fos-Ouest Basket in Fos-Sur-Mer at 6 p.m. local time.