bubu palo

Judge reinstates former Iowa State guard Bubu Palo, but what’s next?

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The story of guard Bubu Palo at Iowa State is a long-winding one, with Palo joining the program as a walk-on and eventually doing enough to earn a scholarship. But Palo played in just 17 games last season due to a suspension that came as a result of his being charged with second-degree sexual assault in September 2012. The charges would be dropped, resulting in his rejoining the team in January and being allowed to play.

Given the amount of backcourt production lost from last season’s NCAA tournament team, there was a chance that Palo could earn more playing time during his senior season. Unfortunately for Palo the school dismissed him from the program in September 2013, and when his appeal of the decision was denied by the Iowa Board of Regents it seemed as if Palo would have no chance of rejoining the team.

However Palo took the case to court, and on Thursday a Webster County judge issued a temporary stay on the ruling banning Palo from the program. What does that mean? Palo can rejoin the basketball program, but ultimately the decision of whether or not he plays is up to Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg. According to Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune Hoiberg offered no comment on the situation other than to say that Palo won’t accompany the team on its trip to Texas.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard issued a brief statement on the matter, expressing his disappointment with the ruling.

“We are disappointed to learn of the district court judge’s decision to reinstate Bubu Palo to our basketball team,” Pollard said. “We believe the university should have the sole right and responsibility to determine any student’s participation in extracurricular activities at Iowa State University.”

So what’s next for the 14-2 Cyclones, who are coming off of a home loss to No. 18 Kansas and are faced with a difficult game at Texas on Saturday? At this point the team hasn’t spent much time focusing on Palo’s situation, although senior forward Melvin Ejim did say in the Ames Tribune article that “we’re excited to have Bubu back.”

Based upon Pollard’s statement the administration doesn’t seem as enthused, which will make for an interesting environment when Palo joins the team for practice on Monday.

USC athletic director Pat Haden to step down in June

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LOS ANGELES (AP) University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden says he will retire on June 30.

USC President Max Nikias made the announcement Friday.

Haden has run the athletic department for 5 1/2 years, leading the Trojans through a multiyear stretch of NCAA sanctions against its vaunted football program. He created a large NCAA compliance program and improved graduation rates and grade point averages across the athletic department.

The former USC quarterback also received criticism for the football program’s relative underachievement and for his handling of coach Steve Sarkisian, who has sued the school over his termination last year.

Nikias says Haden’s department also raised over $400 million during his tenure.

Nikias says Haden will start a one-year job guiding the renovation of the Coliseum after he retires.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ivy League’s best meet in New Haven

Columbia guard Maodo Lo, right, steals the ball from Northwestern forward Aaron Falzon, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Evanston, Ill.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Columbia at Yale, 5:00 p.m.

The two best teams in the Ivy League, with matching 4-0 league records, meet for the first time this season. The Lions were close to suffering their first loss last weekend, but an Alex Rosenberg jumper as time expired gave the Lions the win at reigning champion Harvard. Rosenberg’s one of four players averaging at least 12.2 points per game for Kyle Smith’s team, with senior guard Maodo Lo leading the way at 15.8 per contest.

They’ll face a Yale rotation led offensively by point guard Makai Mason (15.7 ppg, 4.1 apg), and the front court tandem of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod has been outstanding. The winner get a leg up in the Ivy race, with the rematch scheduled for March 5 in New York City (regular season finale).

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Central Michigan at Akron, 8:00 p.m.

Two of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference meet at the JAR, as Akron looks to extend its win streak to six straight. The Zips’ balanced offensive attack has been led by forward Isaiah Johnson (12.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg), who currently leads the team in both scoring and rebounding. As for the visiting Chippewas, guards Braylon Rayson and Chris Fowler combine to average 32.7 points per game, with Fowler also responsible for a MAC-best 6.3 assists per contest. CMU’s had some struggles on the defensive glass in league play, ranking 11th in that category, but they’ve done a better job defensively than they did in non-conference play.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • MAAC leader Monmouth is back in action, as they host a Fairfield team led by one of the conference’s best players in senior forward Marcus Gilbert. The Hawks have a deep lineup led by junior guard Justin Robinson, who at this point in time is the likely frontrunner for MAAC Player of the Year honors.
  • Looking to catch Monmouth is Iona, which is a game behind the Hawks at 9-3. A.J. English and the Gaels visit Canisius in a matchup that should not lack for offense. Iona’s more inclined to run, but Canisius doesn’t lack scorers either with guard Malcolm McMillan leading four players averaging double figures.
  • Given the fact that they’re 1-3 in Ivy League play, Harvard’s essentially in the spoiler role unless some chaos breaks out at the top end of the standings. The Crimson can help in that regard with a win at Princeton, with the Tigers (2-1) a game behind Columbia and Yale in the loss column. Princeton’s been the better offensive team this season, thanks in large part to junior forward Henry Caruso who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding.