Did Jay Bilas teach you nothing a few weeks ago when he called you out for your hypocrisy when it comes to using athletes’ jerseys to make money for the NCAA, while simultaneously not allowing athletes to profit off of their own image? Apparently not.
The NCAA struck again with yet another “WTF” (that means what the F, Mom) moment. Another story that wreaks of the NCAA’s shear absurdity has started to gain traction over the last 24 hours. Buckle up and prepare to be disgruntled on this Sunday afternoon as we share a tale of the NCAA with you…
Steven Rhodes is not necessarily the stereotypical college freshman. Rhodes is 24 year old and will be entering his first year of college at at Middle Tennessee State University this fall. Rhodes took a slightly different route than most to get to this point, joining the Marine Corps first and serving his country before getting his education. Rhodes just recently finished up his 5 years of active duty as a Marine and made plans to play college football for MTSU as a walk-on this fall. The 6’3, 240-pound athlete has been used primarily as a tight end or defensive end thus far in fall camp. The opportunity appeared to be an unlikely dream come true for Rhodes, who thought he might have missed the chance at college athletics when he took the path less traveled.
… Until the NCAA reared its ugly head.
Soon after arriving on campus and starting practice with the Blue Raiders, Rhodes learned that he was declared ineligible by the NCAA to participate this year, and according to the rules must sit out as a redshirt for this entire season. Why, you might ask? Rhodes was told that his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012 is what makes him immediately ineligible.
“This is extremely frustrating. I think it’s highly, highly unfair,” Rhodes said. “I just got out of the Marine Corps and I wanted to play.”
Rhodes was blind-sided by the fact that the games in which he described as resembling intramurals would deem him ineligible. Rhodes described the games as follows, “Man, it was intramurals for us. There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40 something years old. The games were spread out. We once went 6 weeks without a game.”
To read more about Rhodes’ journey and disappointment, check out the Daily News Journal’s full article here.