Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Miramar Marine Veteran Fights For Right To Play NCAA Football (Video)


Steven Rhodes served five years as an active-duty Marine at MCAS Miramar, where he played about a dozen football games with fellow Marines. Now a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University, an obscure NCAA rule is keeping Rhodes from playing for his college team.

Rhodes, 24, expressed his disappointment to The Daily News Journal:

“This is extremely frustrating. I think it’s unfair, highly unfair. I just got out of the Marine Corps, and I wanted to play. For (the NCAA) to say, ‘No, you can’t play right now,’ I just don’t understand the logic in that.” reports the NCAA rule causing all the trouble states that "student-athletes who do not enroll in college within a year of high school graduation lose a year of eligibility for every academic year they participate on an organized team."

However, the "team" the NCAA is using against Rhodes was a group of loosely organized Marines playing for fun and stress-relief.

Rhodes's wife Adrienne, a Naval Aviation Ordnanceman based at MCAS Miramar, describes the games her husband played when he was stationed at Miramar this way:

"Those games were something they did in their spare time on the same base. They were games against different shops -- you know, like the air traffic controllers against the mechanics. It was so disorganized. I couldn't believe that was an issue."

In response to the kerfuffle raised by the The Daily News Journal article, the NCAA has agreed to review Rhodes's case. USA Today reports a NCAA statement released late Sunday night reads:

"The NCAA has provided an initial review of the case and will continue to work with the university. The process is ongoing and a final decision has not yet been made."

Do you think Rhodes should be allowed to play on his college football team this year? Have your say in our comments section!

Explore all national, state and local returns now.