Bubu Palo suing Iowa State due to handling of 2012 rape allegation

Bubu Palo is suing Iowa State. (USATSI)
Bubu Palo is suing Iowa State. (USATSI)

Bubu Palo has, for the second time, hired a lawyer to repair his name and standing with his former school, Iowa State.

Palo is suing ISU for what his lawyers claim is the way the school handled a 2012 rape allegation that, Palo’s lawyers claim, has hampered the player’s professional career opportunities in basketball.

Via the Des Moines Register:

The lawsuit brought by Bubu Palo accuses university officials of using the school’s student disciplinary process to wrongly punish him, even after a felony sexual abuse case against the basketball player was dropped. Among other allegations, the lawsuit claims ISU President Steven Leath used the disciplinary process to ruin Palo’s chances of being able to transfer to another school. The case made the Ames High School graduate a “pariah” in the community and has cost him thousands of dollars in legal fees, despite the fact that judges repeatedly found insufficient evidence that he violated the university’s student conduct code, attorneys Michael Sellers and Trent Nelson wrote in the complaint.

Palo averaged 3.4 points in his three-year playing career with the Cyclones. An in-state high school star, he started at ISU all the way back in 2009, though he sat his first year. He was eventually kicked off the team by an ISU board of conduct panel.

Palo subsequently appealed the ruling, and the state’s supreme court voted he should be allowed to rejoin the team. He did, but did not receive playing time. ISU made the Sweet 16 that season under then-coach Fred Hoiberg.

The basis of Palo’s suit is that, in the wake of all of this, he has been restricted — or at least slowed — from meeting his earning potential in basketball.

ISU sent a statement to the Register that reads: “The basic premise of Mr. Palo’s lawsuit is that he would have had a more successful professional basketball career if the university had not suspended him. However, that it is pure speculation, and it is not the job of courts to engage in speculation.”

Palo’s career hasn’t been a complete bust. He has spent time playing in the NBA’s Developmental League.


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