Most of the Iowa State community was happy to hear that Bubu Palo was eligible to play on the men’s basketball team after a judge granted a temporary stay. Not the university’s athletic director.
Feb 9, 2013; Manhattan, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Bubu Palo (1) drives to the basket against Kansas State Wildcats guard Angel Rodriguez (13) during a 79-70 Cyclones
Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard said that he was “disappointed” in the ruiling, mainly because he ruled against the school’s decision and he believes they should have a final say in who plays on any university team.
From The Gazette:
"“We are disappointed to learn of the district court judge’s decision to reinstate Bubu Palo to our men’s basketball team,” Athletics Director Jamie Pollard said in a statement. “We believe the university should have the sole right and responsibility to determine any student’s participation in extracurricular activities.”"
The men’s basketball team seems a bit more welcoming. Palo’s roomate, Melvin Ejim, didn’t believe he would be a distraction but the team has other concerns and a game coming up. Coach Fred Hoiberg would not comment but confirmed that Palo wouldn’t make the trip to Texas.
It’s a dicey situation. Hoiberg will be torn between Pollard not believing Palo should play while there would be nothing wrong with playing the guard. The question is how much Pollard is against the decision or if it’s more about defending Iowa State’s decisions.
Adding a guy to the bench with previous playing experience would be a welcome addition to any team. Palo is doing everything right, such as staying in school and doing academically well. He also still has a scholarship, so it makes sense to play him while he’s eligible.
Lots of fans expressed their disgust in what Pollard said on Twitter. He was doing what he needed to do. If Hoiberg has the final say, he’ll need to weigh out playing Palo with affecting a relationship with Pollard and the university.