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That Didn't Take Long: NCAA Quickly Reverses Decision and Lets Former Marine Play College Football This Season

"...so happy to know I'm playing."

Steven Rhodes, a former Marine who served for five years and this year hoped to play college football, quickly rose into the national spotlight when the NCAA said he had to sit out this season due to an obscure rule. Shortly after many came to the former military member's defense, the NCAA reversed this decision saying the father of two will be allowed to compete this fall and he will have four years of eligibility remaining.

Rhodes initially was ineligible, according to the NCAA's rules, because he played in a recreational league during his military service. School officials had said earlier Monday that they were working with NCAA officials to come up with a solution.

steven rhodes Steven Rhodes completed his time in active duty and will now attend university where he will play college football immediately. (Photo via Daily News Journal)

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.

“As a part of the ongoing review of NCAA rules, our members will examine the organized competition rules, especially as it impacts those returning from military service,” the statement from the NCAA’s Kevin Lenon, vice president of academic and membership affairs, said. “We thank Steven for his service to our country and wish him the best as he begins college.”

Middle Tennessee President Sidney McPhee says it "exciting news" and thanked the NCAA for the review.

Rhodes told WTVF-TV he was "ecstatic, so happy to know I'm playing." Watch WTVF's report about the quick reversal of the unpopular decision:

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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