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Published December 02, 2009, 03:18 PM

Four Winds boys basketball team ruled ineligible for post-season play

NDHSAA says team used ineligible player

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) - The boys basketball team at Four Winds High School in Fort Totten will not be eligible for postseason play following the upcoming season.

The North Dakota High School Activities Association approved the sanction after Executive Secretary Sherm Sylling determined that the team used an ineligible player during the 2007-08 season.

The association vote led to the resignation of Rick Smith as the

school's boys basketball coach and athletics director. He had spent the past 12 seasons as coach of the Indians. Joe Mertens has assumed both roles while Superintendent Wayne Trottier searches for a permanent replacement.

Sylling said the formal complaint about the ineligible player came from Turtle Lake-Mercer Superintendent Gaillord Peltier, a former superintendent at Four Winds.

Four Winds also must give up any awards earned during the 2007-08 season. It will be on probation through the 2010-11 school year, and any other violations could result in all sports being banned for one year.