MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (August 20, 2013)--The NCAA now says that a Middle Tennessee football player who spent five years in the U.S. Marines will be allowed to compete this fall and that he will have four years of eligibility remaining.
The ruling is a reversal of an earlier decision that Steven Rhodes was ineligible because he played in a recreational league while serving in the Marines.
School officials had said they were working with NCAA officials to come up with a solution.
Late Monday afternoon, the NCAA issued a news release saying they wanted to thank Roberts for his service, wished him well and that member schools would continue to re-examine the competition rules.
Middle Tennessee President Sidney McPhee says it "exciting news" and thanked the NCAA for the review.
The initial ruling was the focus of widespread criticism.