Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The NCAA has cleared MCAS Miramar Marine veteran Steven Rhodes to play football for his college team. The decision reverses an earlier ruling that banned him from playing ball because of a handful of loosely organized games he took part in while stationed in San Diego.
The appeals process for an NCAA decision usually takes weeks. But the overwhelming amount of traditional and social media coverage of Rhodes' plight helped speed up the timeline, according to USA Today:
Virtually every major news organization picked up Rhodes' story after it was initially broken by The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro on Sunday. Social media pounded away at the NCAA for postponing a Marine's dream of playing college football, and online petitions popped up in support of Rhodes.
Rhodes' team, the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders, will host Western Carolina on August 29 for their season opener.
Rhodes's wife Adrienne is a Naval Aviation Ordnanceman based at MCAS Miramar. But she plans to be at MTSU on August 29 to cheer her husband on in a game neither spouse thought he'd be able to play.