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.