Number one in stupidity, the NCAA. This is a travesty. When I was in Germany, the Army had a intramural football league, so are we to believe that these veterans shouldn't be allowed to go to college and play football? This is absolutely shameful. Disgusting!
Adam Sparks, The Daily News Journal — Steven Rhodes felt a duty to serve his country and had a dream to play football.
But now, to his surprise, one is hindering the other in the peculiar case of the United States Marine and 24-year-old MTSU freshman football player versus the NCAA.
“This is extremely frustrating. I think it’s unfair, highly unfair,” Rhodes said. “I just got out of the Marine Corps, and I wanted to play. For (the NCAA) to say, ‘No, you can’t play right now,’ I just don’t understand the logic in that.”
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.
But not long after arriving on campus, Rhodes was told that his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012 would hinder his immediate eligibility to play Division I college football, per an NCAA rule.
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.
Hey @NCAA I'm a vet and a coach at a member institution... this decision is shameful. Fix yourselves. http://t.co/74pncv4I7z
— Matt Thomas (@matty_r_thomas) August 18, 2013