A Marine football player who wants to play for Middle Tennessee State in college has been informed by the NCAA that he is ineligible to play college football. According to DNJ.com on Aug. 18, Steven Rhodes can't play college football because he played intramural football in the Marines.
“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.”
Here is the problem. The NCAA has a rule in place that says that if a student does not enroll immediately into college after high school, that any football played counts against their college eligibility. Therefore, when you look at the exact problem, the NCAA is punishing this Marine football player for choosing to defend his country before going to college.
Middle Tennessee State assistant athletic director Daryl Simpson said that the rule was not created to punish members of the armed forces, but unfortunately, that is what it realistically does to any high school graduates who want to defend their country before attending college.
The sports blog A Rush to Judgement questions the ruling, mentioning named like Johnny Manziel, Reggie Bush and Tyrelle Pryor as names who played through college despite NCAA infractions while questioning why defending our country is punished.
Steve Rhodes is fighting, hoping the NCAA will allow this Marine football player enter the world of college football, but whether or not that happens is anyone's guess in the world of the NCAA.