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Former Marine Steven Rhodes Eligible To Play College Football

Steven Rhodes  put his life on the line to defend his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, but upon his return home learns he is unable to play college football.

The 24-year-old from Antioch, Tennessee just completed five years active duty in the Marines this summer. In hopes of earning a walk-on spot on Middle Tennessee State University’s team, the 5-foot-6-inch, 240-pound Marine sergeant contacted the head coach. The school willingly obliged the former soldier.

The drama began to take a turn when Rhodes arrived on campus to play football, but was told that he was ineligible because of his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012.

Per NCAA Division I football rules, Rhodes must take a mandatory redshirt his first year playing with MTSU.

“This is extremely frustrating. I think it’s unfair, highly unfair,” Rhodes said. “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.”

After Rhodes’ story went public, with social media doling out a major beating to the NCAA, the organization immediately reinstated the Vet’s eligibility. The ruling came in late Monday afternoon.

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