NCAA Blocking Marine Over Intramurals

By Jim Weber, LostLettermen.com

[Update: The NCAA has thankfully cleared Rhodes to play in 2013.]

The NCAA is under unprecedented scrutiny these days for inane rulings and its outdated amateurism rules but its treatment of former Marine Steve Rhodes might be the dumbest thing the governing body of college sports has done yet.

The 24-year-old freshman defensive end for Middle Tennessee State is being required to sit out the 2013 season as a redshirt after five years of service for - wait for it - playing intramural football in the Marine Corps. NCAA bylaw states that student-athletes who don’t enroll in college a year after high school will be charged one year of eligibility for each year they compete in organized competition. Because there were officials, uniforms and a score kept, the NCAA is ruling Marine intramurals as “organized competition.”

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“This is extremely frustrating. I think it’s unfair, highly unfair,” Rhodes told Tennessee’s The Daily News Journal. “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.”

Middle Tennessee State is currently in a battle with the NCAA over this ruling but the fact they are even in this position when Rhodes is being punished over five years of serving his country in the military is just the latest NCAA embarrassment.


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