Regents appeal order to reinstate Iowa St.’s Palo

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AMES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents on Wednesday appealed a district court’s decision to reinstate Iowa State University basketball player Bubu Palo to the team, a move that means his eligibility could be decided by the Iowa Supreme Court.

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office filed a motion on behalf of the board that seeks an immediate stay of a Webster County district judge’s order to let Palo rejoin the team, The Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/1mHTVni ).

The motion said “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.”

Palo, a point guard who’s now a senior, was suspended in 2012 after being charged with second-degree sexual assault involving a former student. The charge was later dropped, but Palo was kicked off the team. Iowa State President Steven Leath decided Palo violated the school’s sexual misconduct policy, and the board agreed.

Earlier this month, a judge ordered a stay of the decision to kick Palo off the team. The judge’s ruling at the time disappointed athletic director Jamie Pollard.

“We believe the university should have the sole right and responsibility to determine any student’s participation in extracurricular activities at Iowa State University,” he said in a statement.

The Register reported Palo’s attorneys say Leath’s delayed ruling on the matter made their client ineligible to transfer to another program. Palo also told the newspaper he didn’t want to be a distraction to his teammates.

“I want to help,” he said. “Whether it’s being the best scout team player and the best teammate - it’s not to mess up a great season.”

The No. 16 Cyclones are set to the play No. 22 Kansas State on Saturday in Ames.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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