NCAA Unbelievably Rules Freshman Basketball Player Ineligible For Church-League Games

By Ben Sullivan
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA has once again made a fool of itself. I know, I know, writers like me telling you how absurd the NCAA has become is getting old and tiresome. But, trust me, this time what they did will blow your mind.

This time they took away a year of eligibility for a young man because he played in a church league while he was on a two-year mission in between graduating high school and enrolling in college. Yes, you heard that right, the NCAA is telling him he can’t play college sports because he played in a pickup league.

The rule that the NCAA is trying to enforce is on the books to prevent young players from using outside leagues after their high school playing days are over to hone their skills in order to play at the collegiate level. The rule itself is a good one, but this is obviously not what happened here. This is another case of the NCAA not understanding the difference between the letter of the law and the intent.

Nathan Harries, a freshman at Colgate, is a devout Mormon who decided to hold off on college for two years so that he could serve a religious mission, something many young Mormon men do. He wasn’t taking time off so that he could walk into college a better player, he was taking time off so that he could walk into college having made the world a better place.

The NCAA has become a joke. Their rules have no meaning because of they are selectively enforced. Well, more truthfully, they are enforced only in situations where they have an easy time finding the evidence they feel they need to justify their actions. Way to go after the low-hanging fruit, NCAA.

The whole collegiate sports framework is broken, but I had at least thought that lower-tiered programs like Colgate could hold onto the last vestiges of an archaic system. If there were any doubts left, the NCAA has clearly showed us they have no ability to properly watch over college sports anymore.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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