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.