Millard North volleyball

London Emmons, left, considered transferring from Millard North to Omaha Burke, but decided to stay. But because she continued playing for the Mustangs, the team received a penalty from the NSAA.

The Nebraska School Activities Association board of directors upheld a previous decision that Millard North volleyball must forfeit 14 victories for using an ineligible player.

That ruling came Thursday at an appeal hearing. The telephone conference lasted about an hour, and the board’s decision was unanimous.

Millard North, the defending Class A champion, dropped from fourth to 22nd in the wild-card point standings following the ruling last week by NSAA Executive Director Jay Bellar. They are the fourth seed in District A-7, which will be contested next week at Omaha Marian.

The host Crusaders are the No. 1 seed. Also in that district are No. 2 seed Lincoln Southwest and No. 3 seed Fremont.

Bellar said the first-round district match between two of the top teams in Class A — Marian is ranked third and Millard North sixth — is unfortunate.

“It’s one of the unintended consequences of the whole situation,” he said.

Millard North, which has won state two of the past three years, will need to win the district to make it back to the tournament.

Bellar said last week the NSAA received information from another school that Millard North had been using an ineligible player this fall. The other school was Omaha Burke, where the player, London Emmons, had considered transferring for her senior year.

Emmons filled out the necessary paperwork last spring to attend Burke. Her name was placed on the May 1 transfer list, though she changed her mind and decided to stay at Millard North.

NSAA bylaws state that a student whose name is on that list but doesn’t transfer must sit out 90 school days of any extracurricular activity.

Emmons did not do that, which led to the NSAA penalty.

Bellar said the basis for the appeal was that the player’s family wanted “another set of ears” to hear the evidence. London’s father, Mark Emmons, said last week that the whole situation was “less of a violation and more of a misunderstanding.”

“It was a lack of communication on a lot of people’s parts,” Bellar said.

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Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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