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Duluth East frustrated as ruling lingers

03/20/2012, 10:54pm CDT
By Brian Stensaas, Star Tribune

Greyhounds' 7-foot center's eligibility still in question for state tournament quarterfinals

Calling the situation "atrocious," Duluth East boys' basketball coach Chuck Tolo vented frustrations Tuesday about not knowing the availability of junior 7-foot center Akolda Manyang for the Greyhounds' Class 4A quarterfinal game Wednesday.

Manyang's eligibility has been in doubt since he allegedly violated a Minnesota High School League rule before the Section 7 tournament. He did not play in those games.

Tolo said he accompanied Manyang in a 45-minute appeal hearing with school officials Monday and that Manyang did not make Tuesday's bus trip to Minneapolis with the team. The coach declined to get into specifics on Manyang's appeal.

Tolo said his frustration centers on not having the matter resolved and the uncertainty it puts on the Greyhounds (20-8), who are set to take the court against No. 4 seed Osseo (27-2) at noon Wednesday at Target Center.

The appeal process can last up to three days.

Athletic director Shawn Roed did not return a message seeking word on Manyang's appeal. Tolo said he has not heard from Roed.

Tolo, in his 11th year as head coach at Duluth East, said the team held a practice with the expectation Manyang would not play against Osseo. Some players refused to accept their medals for winning the Section 7 championship as a show of support for Manyang.

"They're hanging us out to dry and it isn't fair," he said. "I don't know that this is a school that I want to continue in right now, because I have to believe in where I'm at. Up to this point, I've always believed in it, but this -- what's going on now? In my opinion it's atrocious."

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