Posted August 19, 2013

NCAA declares U.S. Marine Steven Rhodes immediately eligible

U.S. Marine Steven Rhodes is immediately eligible to play for MTSU. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

U.S. Marine Steven Rhodes is immediately eligible to play for MTSU. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The NCAA saved faced Monday with the announcement that 24-year-old Steven Rhodes, attempting to walk on to play football at Middle Tennessee State University, would be immediately eligible.

On Sunday it was reported Rhodes, who completed five years of service with the Marines, would not be able to play this season because he had competed in a recreational league in 2012 — per Bylaw, which states “student-athletes that do not enroll in college within a year of their high school graduation will be charged one year of intercollegiate eligibility for every academic year they participate in organized competition.”

Here’s the NCAA’s press release from Kevin Lennon, the vice president of academic and membership affairs:

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.


Does the NCAA have a communication problem?  Why are they making it sound like they intended on letting him walk on this whole time, when in fact we know they had said earlier he would not be eligible ?  Pure and simple BS that the NCAA tried getting away with, and got caught.  



They first made the wrong decision and then they reconsidered it and made the right one.  That should happen more often and I applaud the NCAA for reconsidering.  It was for the right reason.