All those affiliate agreements Sprint made in the early days to boost its coverage nationwide keep coming back to haunt the operator in its post-merger state with Nextel. An Illinois circuit judge ruled that Sprint Nextel's operation of the former Nextel network in affiliates iPCS' region violates the non-compete clause iPCS has with Sprint. Therefore, Sprint is barred from operating in rural Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska. The ruling means Sprint might have to divest its iDEN properties in those areas if it is successful in its appeal. Just last week, a Delaware court said that Sprint couldn't compete with Horizon Personal Communications and Bright Personal Communications using CDMA but it could continue to sell iDEN services.