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.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.