By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
Iowa State basketball player Bubu Palo was reinstated to the team by a judge on Thursday.
Athletic director Jamie Pollard wasn’t exactly thrilled about it.
Palo was suspended in 2012 after being charged with second-degree sexual assault. The charge was dropped a year ago, and the university’s Office of Judicial Affairs cleared Palo to return to the team. However, Palo was found to have violated Iowa State’s student code of conduct and kicked off the team.
The dispute wound up in court. Webster County judge Thomas Bice issued a temporary stay for Palo, allowing the backup senior point guard to rejoin the Cyclones pending the outcome of further court proceedings. A final hearing date on Palo’s status has not been set.
“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.”
Palo, a senior, averaged 2.8 points in 17 games last season as a steady if unspectacular backup point guard. Even if Palo is in game shape after his long layoff, his role on this year’s team remains unclear at best.
Eighth-ranked Iowa State is 14-2 behind transfer point guard DeAndre Kane, who has emerged as an All-America candidate. Freshman Monte Morris has played well in relief of Kane, and young guards Matt Thomas, Naz Long and Sherron Dorsey-Walker are valuable contributors.
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg didn’t offer much comment to reporters Thursday, though he did say that Palo won’t travel with the team for Saturday’s game at Texas.