A judge has ruled Bubu Palo should be reinstated to Iowa State basketball team after he was suspended from the team in 2012 following a sexual abuse charge. The case was later dropped.
It's the last thing a team off to an historic start but mired in a two-game losing streak wants to face.
“I really can’t say anything about that,” said head coach, Fred Hoiberg.
Would Bubu Palo return to uniform? Would he be welcome?
"Again, I really can't say anything about that."
Sports radio callers sympathized with Hoiberg and athletics director, Jamie Pollard.
“Coach Hoiberg and Jamie Pollard are in an absolute no-win situation, said a caller from Des Moines. "Put yourself in the public sector and go against a decision that your boss the CEO made.”
Pollard’s only statement came in terse, written form:
“We are disappointed to learn of the district court judge`s decision to reinstate Bubu Palo to our basketball team. We believe the university should have the sole right and responsibility to determine any student`s participation in extracurricular activities at Iowa State.”
Again, fans considered Iowa State’s predicament.
“It raises the real big question of ‘do we want the legal system in this state making decisions on student conduct codes on our regent institutions?’” said a fan from Ames.
But there was also a sense of understanding for the legal actions that Palo has taken.
“It’s tough, it is a distraction," said another caller from Johnston, "but I don’t blame Bubu himself if he’s truly innocent, to take all measures necessary to get his name cleared.”
Palo’s attorney, Matt Boles, said that’s exactly the case.
“This is a matter of right and wrong," Boles said, "and if it boils down to that Bubu never plays, and he’s on the team, in Bubu’s eyes and in his family’s eyes, this entire process was worth it because it was what was right.”
But he contends that Palo does want to play for the Cyclones again this season. This is his final semester of eligibility.
Still more to consider for a team that would clearly rather focus on something else.