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Regional high school sports authority lifts most sanctions against Kenora school after recruiting infraction
By Dryden Observer Staff
Kenora’s St. Thomas Aquinas junior boys basketball team is again eligible to compete in the regional high school playoffs after the NorWOSSA membership voted 10-0-1 in favour of lifting all but one of the sanctions recently levied against the school team.
They will do so, however, without assistant coach Mike Luby, who will remain suspended from all coaching duties at STAHS.
The Kenora Catholic secondary school team was sanctioned in November for ‘recruiting’ violations.
NorWOSSA president Mike Lalonde says he’s glad to see the issue resolved before it became a matter before the courts.
“Our collaborative and positive working relationship with all five school boards is paramount to the success of the league,” said Lalonde in a statement released last week. “The direction this situation was headed, involving lawyers and the court system, could have been detrimental to the league and its future. The vote by the members is evident that they have the future of not only the league, but more so, the student/athletes best interests in mind.”
While the facts of the incident are still a matter of dispute, Lalonde says NorWOSSA?has set a hard line going forward on that recruiting activities will not be tolerated.
“The message is clear and the issue of recruiting and using undue influence towards students/athletes has now been brought to the forefront and into the public forum,” he said. “Anyone involved in high school athletics who attempts to attract a student/athlete from another school to their own school will be held accountable. It has not and will not be tolerated.”
“We have a responsibility to ensure that all athletes (approximately 1800) that compete under the NorWossa umbrella each school year are playing by the same rules and on a level playing field. If one team gets an unfair advantage, in a way that is morally unfair, it negatively impacts every other athlete/team that specific team participates against.”