Palo Remains Eligible for Now - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Palo Remains Eligible for Now

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Will Hall



Bubu Palo will continue as part of the Iowa State men's basketball team, according to an Iowa Supreme Court ruling Friday.

The Iowa Board of Regents had petitioned the Supreme court for an immediate stay on the Webster County district judge's ruling to make Palo eligible for competition — after being declared ineligible in August by university president Steven Leath for violating the school's sexual misconduct policy.

The ruling does not mean the Supreme Court couldn't further look into the Palo case, but the Regents' (representing Iowa State's) request for immediate action was denied.

In Friday's ruling, Supreme Court justice Daryl Hecht wrote, "After consideration, the court denies the motion for immediate stay."

Palo was charged with second-degree sexual abuse in May 2012 after an incident involving a former student. The charge was dropped by the Story County Attorney's office, and Palo was reinstated to the team for the final 17 games last season.

Leath ruled Palo ineligible on Aug. 30. The district judge placed the senior back on the team last week, a ruling that was appealed to the Board of Regents.

Palo's legal team, in a resistance filing with the Supreme Court, argued that "any claim by (the Regents) to the right to unilaterally determine misconduct and punishment immediately collides with te Due Process rights set forth" in the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions.

For now, the Iowa Supreme Court says Palo can play basketball again. Palo has been practicing with the Cyclones and is expected to suit up for Iowa State's 12:45 p.m. game Saturday against Kansas State.

Whether coach Fred Hoiberg puts the Ames native into Saturday's game — or any game — remains to be seen.

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