Alford apologizes for handling of incident while at Iowa
LOS ANGELES (AP) — New UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford apologized on Thursday for the way he handled a sexual assault charge involving a player on his team in 2002 when he coached at Iowa.
Alford has faced media questioning about the incident since he was hired to coach the Bruins nearly two weeks ago. He and UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero addressed the matter in a statement distributed by the school that didn’t mention the name of former Hawkeyes player Pierre Pierce, who was the team’s starting point guard.
Alford said he “instinctively and mistakenly” came to the defense of Pierce before he knew all the facts. At the time, he staunchly defended Pierce, saying, “I totally believe he is innocent. I believed it from day one, and I still believe it.”
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