(UPDATED) Marine BANNED From Playing College Football For Participating In Games On Base… NCAA Reverses Stance – American Military News

(UPDATED) Marine BANNED From Playing College Football For Participating In Games On Base… NCAA Reverses Stance

This is outrageous! The NCAA has banned Middle Tennessee State Freshman and five year active duty Marine veteran Steven Rhodes’ from playing football this season. Their reasoning?  He played in a recreational league on his base when he was on active duty!

“Man, it was like intramurals for us,” said the 24-year-old. “There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40-something years old. The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games.”

Rhodes is now a appealing the ban and rightfully so! Or brave service men and women should not be punished for putting their lives on the line, especially by the NCAA. In years past, any participation in games while on active duty was exempt, but thanks to incompetence within the NCAA, that exemption was dropped from current bylaws.

It’s time time NCAA overturn this embarrassing and unjust ruling and let Sergeant Rhodes return to playing the game he loves!

Update: Statement from the NCAA:

“As a part of its continued review of Steven Rhodes’ eligibility, NCAA staff determined he may play immediately. Additionally, he will maintain all four years of his eligibility.

Throughout this process, NCAA staff worked closely with Middle Tennessee State University, and we appreciate the school’s partnership.

As a part of the ongoing review of NCAA rules, our members will examine the organized competition rules, especially as it impacts those returning from military service.

We thank Steven for his service to our country and wish him the best as he begins college.”

______________________

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — A Middle Tennessee freshman who finished five years of active service in the Marines this summer is appealing an NCAA rule preventing him from playing this season because he played in a recreational league in the military.

According to The Daily News Journal, the rule essentially says student-athletes that do not enroll in college within a year of graduating high school will be charged one year of collegiate eligibility for every academic year they participate in organized competition.

By NCAA standards, Steven Rhodes’ play at the Marine base counted as “organized competition” because there were game officials, team uniforms and the score was kept.

But the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Marine sergeant said the recreational league was nothing close to organized.

“Man, it was like intramurals for us,” said the 24-year-old. “There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40-something years old. The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games.”

The rule first took shape in 1980, when “participation in organized competition during times spent in the armed services, on official church missions or with recognized foreign aid services of the U.S. government” were exempt from limiting eligibility.

But through several revisions and branches of the rule, the clause allowing competition during military service was lost and not carried over into the current bylaws.

 

 

 

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