Winona State’s Johnson ruled ineligible

The Winona State men’s basketball team, ranked number-three in the nation in the latest rankings, discovers on Tuesday that they will have 13 of their NSIC victories nullified.

The reason is because of the use of an ineligible player. WSU officials were contacted on January 23rd about concerns raised over junior guard Grant Johnson’s playing status. Johnson is a transfer from UW-Parkside and the violation occurred with a misapplication of NCAA transfer rules.

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Since being notified, the Warriors have withheld him from competition. A ruling determined Johnson was in fact ineligible to play for Winona State and will have to sit for the rest of the season. His eligibility beyond that is still being evaluated.

Winona State Director of Athletics Larry Holstad says the school notified and worked with the NCAA the moment the question of Johnson’s eligibility was brought up. “The bottom line comes down to this, because of a rule interpretation we have played an ineligible player. Our coaches and our players and Grant have done nothing wrong. This was a mistake by the administration. We take full responsibility.”

Johnson is second on the team averaging 15-points per game. The 13 conference wins prior to him sitting have been nullified. A nullification process will now determine the Warriors’ ranking and record. Winona State will still be eligible for any postseason action that they qualify for.