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No NCAA word yet on eligibility of former Marine Steven Rhodes [Updated]

August 19, 2013|By Chris Dufresne
  • Middle Tennessee State defensive end Steven Rhodes hugs university president Dr. Sidney McPhee during a team practice session Monday.
Middle Tennessee State defensive end Steven Rhodes hugs university president… (Bradley Lambert / Associated…)

This post has been updated. Please see note below.

The NCAA's horrific public relations summer got worse over the weekend when it was learned the organization was holding up the eligibility of a former Marine trying to play football for Middle Tennessee State.

The NCAA maintained Steven Rhodes, a walk-on freshman who spent five years in the Marines, had to sit out a season because he played in a recreational league while in the service.

This was just another example of how inflexible and tone-deaf the NCAA can be when it comes to rules and regulations.

Yes, rules are rules, but the inability to use common-sense logic continues to undermine the organization.

The NCAA may ultimately do the right thing with Rhodes but it always seems to be reactive instead of proactive.

In the case of Rhodes, the NCAA has not acted fast enough to outrun the outcry.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn told the Associated Press in a statement "the NCAA has provided an initial review of the case and will continue to work with the university," adding, "a final decision has not been made yet."

The NCAA might want to make one, like, real soon. And the decision needs to involve someone who devoted five years of his life to the service not having to wait one year to play football.

It's just common sense, right NCAA?

[Updated, 4:16 p.m.: The NCAA has announced Rhodes can play for Middle Tennessee State "immediately."]

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