On Sunday, Yahoo Sports reported the story of Steven Rhodes, a 24-year-old Marine sergeant who just completed his five years in the Marines. After ending his service in the Marines, Steven contacted Middle Tennessee State’s football coaches to ask for a chance to play on the team.
The article continues:
…They happily accepted the 6’ 3”, 240-pound veteran and have been using him as a tight end and defensive lineman during practice.
Great story, right?
Well, it would be, except Rhodes isn’t eligible to play this season because he took part in an intramural league while in the service. He received no money to play in some extremely disorganized games.
“Man, it was like intramurals for us. There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40-something years old,” said Rhodes to Adam Sparks of the Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). “The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games.”
Needless to say, the coaches at Middle Tennessee State are appealing the ruling.
The article further reports:
“For a guy to go serve our country, you’d think there would be some compassion and understanding so this guy is not prevented from playing college football,” said Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill. “He’s going to be almost 30 years old when his (eligibility) clock runs out. He needs to be allowed to play right now. Hopefully, they let him.”
Steven Rhodes is being penalized because he spent six years in the Marines. Good grief!
From the Blue Raider Athletics Website:
ATTENTION BLUE RAIDER NATION! Steven Rhodes has been cleared to play this season and for the next 4 years! Thank you for all of your support over the last 36 hours, it’s been a crazy time around here. We look forward to seeing everyone out Aug. 29th for our first game against Western Carolina! BE LOUD. BE PROUD. BE BLUE.