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Subscribe to USA TODAYAlready a print edition subscriber, but don't have a login?Activate your digital access.Manage your account settings. EDT August 18, 2013Former Marine sergeant Steven Rhodes says he finds the battle with the NCAA over his immediate eligibility "extremely frustrating" and "highly unfair."(Photo: Helen Comer, USA TODAY Sports)Story HighlightsMIddle Tennessee walk on Steven Rhodes bid to get on field so far foiled by NCAA ruleHang up is his participation <a href="http://www.jordanshoesauthentic.com">cheap jordan shoes</a> last year in military only recreational league in San DiegoSchool has won appeal to restore two years of eligibility but battle to play right away remainsMURFREESBORO, Tenn. Steven Rhodes felt a duty to serve his country and had a dream to play football.

Marine and 24 year old Middle Tennessee State University freshman football player vs. the <a href="http://www.mlbjerseysauthentic.com">cheap mlb jerseys</a> NCAA."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."Rhodes, from Antioch, Tenn., finished his five years of active service in the Marines this summer. He then called MTSU coaches in hopes of landing a spot as a walk on player for the Blue Raiders. They happily granted the request of the athletic 6 3, 240 pound Marine sergeant. He has played tight end and defensive end in <a href="http://www.cheapnhljerseyswholesale.com">cheap nhl jerseys</a> preseason camp.But not long after arriving on campus, Rhodes was told that his participation in a military only recreational football league in 2012 would hinder his immediate eligibility for Division I football, per an NCAA rule.Despite his age, military service and complete lack of college football experience, Rhodes must take a mandatory redshirt and not play for MTSU this season.UPDATE: NCAA says case is not closedRhodes was shocked by the news.

He knew what that recreational league was. It was not pay for play. It was not highly competitive. It was not even well organized."Man, it was like intramurals for us. There were guys out there anywhere from 18 to 40 something years old," said Rhodes, chuckling and shaking his head. "The games were spread out. We once went six weeks between games."Rhodes had no sense that his immediate eligibility would be in question. Navy."I was super excited when he got the chance to play football (at MTSU), but then I was shocked to find out there was a problem with him playing," said Adrienne. "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."Letter of the lawThe official rule keeping Rhodes from playing this season is NCAA bylaw Steeped in layers <a href="http://www.ray-banoutletonline.com">ray-ban sunglasses outlet</a> of legal jargon, the rule essentially says student athletes who do not enroll in college within a year of their high school graduation will be charged a year of intercollegiate eligibility for every academic year they participate in organized competition.

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