NCAA Men's Basketball

Iowa State drops Xavier Foster from team after assault claim

AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State announced Friday that center Xavier Foster is no longer a member of the team as police investigate a sexual assault claim.

Coach T.J. Otzelberger said the program holds its athletes to "high standards" on and off the court, the Des Moines Register reported.

"After much consideration, I have decided that this is necessary as we continue to build our culture," he said.

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 Otzelberger, who was hired in March to replace Steve Prohm, who was fired after a 2-22 season in which the Cyclones went winless in the Big 12.

Foster, a 7-footer from Oskaloosa, Iowa, arrived at Iowa State with much fanfare as a four-star recruit, picking Iowa State over offers from Iowa, Baylor, Providence and Virginia Tech. Surgery on his foot during his freshman year limited him to seven games last season.

Updated October 8, 2021