I have always believed the college administrators should have the best interests of the student-athlete at heart.
Sometimes, common sense has to prevail in the decision-making process. There are times that schools and individual athletes are not trying to circumvent the rules, yet they are made out to be the bad guy when that is truly not the case.
Here are a couple of recent examples:
After serving our country for five years in the Marines, freshman Steven Rhodes was attempting to become eligible to play football at Middle Tennessee State. Originally, the NCAA ruled Rhodes ineligible, citing the fact that he played in a recreational league during his military service. After an outpouring of outrage by sports media members and the public, the NCAA reversed its decision and granted Rhodes a full four years of eligibility. That is using common sense, my friends.
There was a rule in the NCAA by-laws that said student-athletes who did not enroll in college within a year of graduating high school would be penalized one year of eligibility for every academic year they participated in organized competition.
Give me a break.
Finally justice was done when the NCAA reinstated him.
Why should anyone try to hurt these young men or women?
Then there is the case of Donte Hill of Old Dominion. The NCAA ruled he is not eligible for the upcoming season because he participated in a closed scrimmage for less than 10 minutes with Clemson about three years ago. He would have been the lone senior on the Monarchs' roster this season, and his absence is a blow to coach Jeff Jones.
The bottom line is, a just ruling would have been to suspend him for a few games this season and then render him eligible. Being part of a scrimmage before transferring should not lead to such a harsh punishment.
It is all about common sense. I hope the NCAA revisits that decision. It is truly unfair, and hurting a young man who deserved better.
All over playing less than 10 minutes in a scrimmage? Come on, you cannot be serious.
It is not easy making rulings over eligibility. I give the NCAA credit for the way it went back and made the Rhodes situation right. Mark Emmert and the NCAA staff, please look over the Hill situation again and do the right thing. Do not hurt a young man who did not even know he was doing something wrong.