The NCAA has done it again, and I mean that in the worst way possible.
The NCAA has blocked Middle Tennessee freshman defensive end Steven Rhodes from playing his first year for the university, because Rhodes played Intramural football while in the Marines.
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 his country.
According to NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199.1 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 intramural’s as “organized competition.”
“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.”
The funniest thing about the NCAA’s decision is that Rhodes wasn’t in this highly competitive league either.
“Man, it was like intramural’s for us. There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40-something years old,” said Rhodes, chuckling and shaking his head. “The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games.”