A former marine hoping to play college football this season at a Tennessee school is celebrating after receiving good news from the NCAA.
The collegiate sports governing body had initially said Steven Rhodes would have to sit out the upcoming season at MTSU. But the NCAA came under heavy criticism after it said the 24-year-old Rhodes would be penalized because he played in a military recreational football league during his time serving in the U.S. Marines.
Rhodes described the league as similar to an intramural activity, but the NCAA said it counted as an organized league since scores were kept, players wore uniforms, and officials refereed the games.
Upon further review, the NCAA now says it’s decided Rhodes can play this upcoming season at MTSU.
A former marine hoping to play college football in Tennessee is being told by the NCAA he’ll have to sit out a year. The collegiate sports governing body says the 24-year-old freshman can’t play this upcoming season because of his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012.
Steven Rhodes entered the U.S. Marine Corp after graduating from Antioch High School in Nashville. After serving five years of active duty with the Marines, Rhodes contacted Middle Tennessee State coaches and asked about walking-on to the football ball team as a non-scholarship player.
That’s when the NCAA told Rhodes that his participation in a military-only football league would prevent him from playing immediately. Instead, he was told he would have to sit out the upcoming season.
As college football season approaches, student-athletes are having to brush up on the rules regarding autographs and eligibility.
The reverberations of the NCAA’s inquiry into whether Texas A&M quarterback and Hesiman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel signed autographs for memorabilia dealers will be felt in Kentucky this weekend. In Louisville, the athletic department has advised the Cardinals football team not to sign autographs at this weekend’s fan event.
But that will not be the case at WKU’s Football Fan Fest On Saturday.
“They’ll all be available for autographs throughout the event,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.
For the first time in school history, a football team from the SEC will visit Bowling Green to take on the Hilltoppers. WKU announced a three-game series with Vanderbilt University on Wednesday.
The first game will take place in 2015 in Nashville, with the Commodores coming to the WKU Campus in 2016.
“It’s a great compliment that Vanderbilt wanted to schedule that game with us – two games at their place and one at ours as a part of that three-game series. We're certainly looking forward to that starting in a few years,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.
The WKU men’s basketball team will burn the midnight oil during their season opener. The school announced Monday that the Hilltoppers will take on Wichita State at midnight on November 12, as part of ESPN 2’s Tip-Off Marathon.
ESPN is airing more than a dozen games in over 24 hours of basketball to kick off the new season.
Both WKU and Wichita State are coming off of NCAA tournament appearances, with the Shockers making last season’s Final Four. The Hilltoppers went 20-and-16, and won the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
You can see the 2013-14 WKU men's basketball schedule here.