Bubu Palo

Could Bubu Palo’s status be determined by Iowa Supreme Court?

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Just six days ago Iowa State guard Bubu Palo received the news he’d been hoping for, with a Webster County judge ruling that he was to be reinstated to the team immediately. Palo, whose appeal of the school’s decision to dismiss him from the program was denied by the Iowa Board of Regents, rejoined the team on Monday and is now listed on the team roster.

But the fight over Palo’s status isn’t over with Bryce Miller of the Des Moines Register reporting on Wednesday that the Iowa Attorney General’s office, acting on behalf of the Iowa Board of Regents, filed a motion for the immediate stay of the Webster County judge’s decision.

The motion argued that “the district court ruling deprives the Board of Regents and Iowa State University of its legal authority to establish and enforce expectations of conduct for students … and to determine who will have the privilege of representing the university in intercollegiate athletics.”

In a statement last week after Palo was reinstated, Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said that “we believe the university should have the sole right and responsibility to determine any student’s participation in extracurricular activities at Iowa State University” in response to the decision, and the clearly falls in line with the thinking of the state’s Board of Regents.

In 2012 Palo was charged with second-degree sexual assault but the charges were dropped, thus allowing him to rejoin the program in January after being suspended 17 games. Palo’s legal representation argued during the appeal to the Webster County judge that the school took too long in its decision process, thus preventing him from transferring to another school to complete his eligibility.

One question to be considered in all of this is the mindset of Fred Hoiberg’s team, with the Cyclones in the midst of a rigorous Big 12 slate. Iowa State’s lost three straight games, most recently falling to Texas in Austin this past Saturday, and they won’t return to game action until Saturday against Kansas State at Hilton Coliseum.

How much is this affecting the team? Is it affecting the team? It should be noted that the game at Texas was Iowa State’s first since Palo was reinstated, and by the time Kansas State rolls into Ames they will have had six days off to get their play in order while also addressing the return of Palo.

And while the question of “what’s next for Palo” remains, it looks as if the Iowa Supreme Court will be the entity that provides the ultimate answer.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: