Oh boy, NCAA. You’ve seemingly topped yourself, yet again.
The NCAA has some of the dumbest rules you’ll ever come across and today, we have a prime example.
Steven Rhodes is an incoming 24 year old defensive end/tight end for Middle Tennessee State University. Unlike most college football players, Rhodes opted to serve his country out of high school, doing so for five years. Now in attempts to better himself, he enrolled at MTSU and planned to play football for the University. Except there is one, minor problem. The NCAA has ruled him ineligible and he must redshirt for the season.
Why, you ask? Isn’t the answer obvious? He played in a recreational football league while in the Marines.
But not long after arriving on campus, Rhodes was told that his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012 would hinder his immediate eligibility to play Division I college football, per an NCAA rule.Despite his age, military service and complete lack of college football experience, Rhodes must take a mandatory redshirt and not play a single game for MTSU this season.
Rhodes was shocked by the news. He knew what that recreational league was. It was not pay-for-play. It was not highly competitive. It was not even well organized.“Man, it was like intramurals for us. There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40-something years old,” said Rhodes, chuckling and shaking his head. “The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games.”