AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State announced Friday that center Xavier Foster is no longer a member of the basketball team as police investigate a sexual assault claim.
Coach T.J. Otzelberger said in a statement that the program holds its student-athletes up to “high standards” on and off the court, the Des Moines Register reported.
“After much consideration," he said, “I have decided that this is necessary as we continue to build our culture."
Foster has not been charged with a crime, but Ames police spokesperson Jason Tuttle said that he is a “target" of an investigation into an 18-year-old woman's report that she was sexually assaulted at an October 2020 party. A search warrant naming Foster was executed in June, and Foster’s DNA was collected through cheek swabs.
Tuttle said that he couldn't discuss specifics about why Foster's DNA wasn't collected until eight months after the party.
“But oftentimes when we investigate cases, victims steer the ship," he said. “Sometimes they may want to wait to make decisions. It’s all led by how the victim wants to handle it.”
Foster had not been practicing with the team under first-year head coach T.J. Otzelberger.
“He hasn’t been available for practice yet, due to some medical and health things that I probably can’t discuss, unfortunately,” Otzelberger told a handful of reporters Tuesday.
Foster arrived at Iowa State with much fanfare as a four-star recruit, picking Iowa State and then-coach Steve Prohm over offers from Iowa, Baylor, Providence and Virginia Tech.
Surgery on his foot during his freshman year limited him to just seven games last season — each game happening after the alleged assault.