After two days of relentless criticism for their ruling, the NCAA has reversed their decision regarding the eligibility of Steven Rhodes, the former Marine walking on the Middle Tennessee State football team.
Rhodes spent five years in military service, where he participated in a recreational football league. According to the NCAA's initial ruling, that league -- which Rhodes described as "something they did in their spare time on the same base" -- counted as "organized competition" and NCAA bylaws required Rhodes to sit out a mandatory redshirt year.
That changed on Monday afternoon with an official release from Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs.
"As a part of its continued review of Steven Rhodes' eligibility, NCAA staff determined he may play immediately," Lennon's statement read. "Additionally, he will maintain all four years of his eligibility.
Jesus, my daughter could have figured this out.
I will begrudgingly give the NCAA credit...though it NEVER should have come to this.
Congrats to Mr. Rhodes!
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Can they be anymore tone deaf?
As I have a number of times before. While I take may eight years in the service seriously I down play it because you do what you have to do. It was totally voluntary, so when sign on the dotted line you have to accept what they throw at you. I have also said that my time in the Navy was unremarkable...far less than those who went into combat zones.
The last 7-10 years have seen a huge increase in saluting those who have served especially in combat zones.
That is fine. The nation is free to celebrate and pay tribute as they see fit...I keep it low key.
Then there are those who are tone deaf...like the NCAA. these guys could not find their ass with two hands and a flight.
Rhodes, an Antioch native, finished his five years of active service in the Marines this summer, when he called MTSU coaches in hopes of landing a spot as a walk-on player for the Blue Raiders. They happily granted the request of the athletic 6-foot-3, 240-pound Marine sergeant. He has played both tight end and defensive end thus far in preseason camp.
Despite his age, military service and complete lack of college football experience, Rhodes must take a mandatory redshirt and not play a single game for MTSU this season.Rhodes was shocked by the news. He knew what that recreational league was. It was not pay-for-play. It was not highly competitive. It was not even well organized.
The Rec league that Rhodes played in I am familiar with from my time at Camp Pendleton. They aren't the most organized and due to training schedules games and thus practices are spread out.
There is no competitive advantage here. That Rhodes received a salary from the government has nothing to do with this...You are Marine (Sailor, Soldier, Airman) first and everything else second.
Read the whole article.
The NCAA keeps getting it wrong and sooner or later it will catch up with them.