Thursday, February 17, 2005

Is this necessary?

The story that just won't go away around here is University of Iowa basketball player Pierre Pierce, who was kicked off the team two weeks ago for intent to commit sexual abuse, burglary, criminal mischief and false imprisonment. (He was officially slapped with a felony charge of first-degree burglary on Feb. 9.) On Tuesday, Pierce met with head basketball coach Steve Alford, hoping to be reinstated. After a 15-minute meeting, Alford nixed that.

What's bugging me now, however, is that a search warrant was unsealed yesterday and a bunch of stuff was released to the media (and subsequently, the public), including an e-mail Pierce wrote to the woman he allegedly assaulted. I'm all for freedom of the press (former journalism major, remember) and releasing information into the public domain. And maybe releasing this e-mail serves some purpose - legal or otherwise - that I'm just not comprehending at 10 am after pulling a near-all nighter on a paper. But to me, it looks like the only reason newspapers, radio stations, and TV newscasts are showing and reading excerpts form this thing (and it's been everywhere in the past 24 hours) is to show how dumb this kid sounds. Considering Pierce is 21 years old and a presumed junior at the U of Iowa, I have to admit it doesn't look good. Here's a slice of what we've been seeing:

"i am truely sorry for your room and your papers I threw on the ground all i wanted to do is talk to you and you fleed, probably because you were scared and I understand but i thought for sure you would come back out but you didnt' so that made me go ballistic like never before"
Quoting an excerpt probably makes me hypocritical, considering what I just wrote. But I'm really questioning the need for this stuff to be out in the open. It seems like kicking a guy when he's down. And don't misunderstand me. Pierce deserves everything that's happened to him. He clearly has problems (especially with women), squandered every chance at redemption the university has given him, and has committed crimes he needs to be punished for. Maybe this is just part of the package. It just feels explotive to me.