Iowa Supreme Court denies regents’ request for stay on Bubu Palo


Photo: Ryan Riley

Iowa State’s Bubu Palo attempts a shot against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat the Cowboys 87-76.

Alex Halsted

Bubu Palo will remain a member of the ISU men’s basketball team while his appeal in district court plays out.

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday denied the Iowa Board of Regents’ request for an immediate stay on district judge Thomas Bice’s ruling last week that granted Palo a temporary stay to return to the basketball team while his appeal is heard.

Palo is appealing the regents’ decision to affirm ISU President Steven Leath’s ruling to remove him from the team Aug. 30. 

After being charged with sexual abuse in the second degree in September 2012 as the result of an incident in May 2012, Palo was indefinitely suspended from the basketball team. When charges were dropped in January 2013, Palo was reinstated and played 17 games for the Cyclones during the 2012-13 season.

In September 2012, the ISU Office of Judicial Affairs charged Palo with violating the university’s Code of Conduct relating to sexual misconduct. The matter moved to an administrative law judge in April 2013 who ruled the accusations were “not founded,” according to court documents.

An appeal of that decision was heard last summer by Leath, who ruled that the code of conduct had been violated, and Palo was removed from the basketball team Aug. 30.

The Iowa Board of Regents affirmed Leath’s decision Dec. 5, and Palo took the matter to district court, which granted Palo a temporary stay Jan. 17 allowing him to rejoin the team.

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of the regents, appealed that decision to the Iowa Supreme Court on Wednesday, which denied the request Friday morning. The Iowa Supreme Court could still hear the case, but denied the request for an immediate stay to keep Palo from the team. 

Palo returned to practice Monday, and said in an interview Sunday he would likely join the scout team. Iowa State returns to the court at 12:45 p.m. Saturday against Kansas State.