Just when you think the NCAA can’t come with anymore bizarre or inconsistent rulings they come up with another embarrassingly silly one. This time they are denying an ex Marine Steven Rhodes the opportunity to play at Middle Tennessee and forcing him to sit out a year.
Here is the short version of the story from yahoo.com and the full story from the Daily News Journal. Rhodes participated in what sounds like largely disorganized football games while he was in the service. This is what is keeping him from playing this season at Middle Tennessee.
As someone who didn’t serve myself, but spent more than half my childhood on military installations while my father was in the army, I can tell you soldiers participate in many athletic activities in their down time just to relax. When Rhodes says it’s like intramurals, that literally what it was.
I think this has become indicative of the current state NCAA, from the botched handing of the Miami Hurricane’s investigation, to the NCAA practice of selling jerseys that suddenly stopped just over a week ago in the midst of the Johnny Manzeil controversy. Just check out Jay Bilas’s twitter timeline for the now legendary rant about the NCAA and those player jerseys.
Now with the opportunity to do the right, the NCAA trips on itself again. I’m very much of the opinion collegiate sports needs a governing body, but now I’m not so the sure the NCAA is capable of handling the changing landscape of college athletics. Maybe the power 5 conferences have it right… Maybe it is for an overhaul in the way college athletics are managed.
In this case the NCAA has a chance to save a little face. Do the right thing, reverse your decision and make a quick ruling that allows Steven Rhodes, someone that served this country, the ability to play football this season. Not permitting him to play would just be further evidence that NCAA is incapable of even the most common sense decisions.