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Isaiah Brock joined the Army in April 2012 and served in a unit whose job was to collect the bodies of dead soldiers from war zones and return them to America for burial. That’s right; this isn’t some fragile ROTC kid. Brock was actually in the shit. He served for four years and earned numerous awards before becoming involved in a program called Troops First that puts on a tournament for veterans and service members known as the Hardwood Classic.
A couple real collegiate coaches volunteer their time to connect with and coach the troops. Mostly it’s all good fun, but when Oakland University coach Greg Kampe spotted “a 6-foot-8 kid who actually looks like he can play,” he knew he had to take a closer look. That was how Kampe and Brock started talking, and what spurred Brock to eventually enroll at Oakland after he completed his service.
From CBS Sports:
“I just thought maybe I could bring him to Oakland and give back and help this young man get his education,” Kampe said. “He’s got the GI Bill. But that doesn’t cover him like a scholarship would. And I thought him being around my players would just be unbelievable from a leadership perspective.
Which sounds like an amazing idea. Brock has already proven himself on the battlefield, and achieved a solid B average on his classes so far. He’s even mentoring and tutoring younger athletes. Seems like the perfect example of everything the NCAA values in student athletes right?
Wrong. The NCAA just ruled Brock ineligible to play basketball because of his high school transcript.
To be clear, Brock has a qualifying standardized test score. And he’s shown the ability to do college-level work. It’s just that the NCAA is focused on a high school transcript from five years ago and using it to refuse to allow Brock to play this season.
What the fuck, NCAA? This is a guy who did one of the toughest jobs in the military, sweated and bled to return our fallen heroes to their native land. He served his country, he’s virtuous enough to balance out a dozen UNC and FSU scandals, and you won’t let him play.
Why? Because of a metric?
There’s nothing I despise in this world more than unfeeling policies and algorithms. When you forget about the human element and refuse to be flexible, you lose a part of your own humanity to the system. As a regulatory organization, the NCAA is really only effective at two things: scoring massively lucrative distribution deals, and making up stupid rules to justify their existence and ability to continue to profit off college students.
If you really stand for the betterment of all athletes, write Isaiah Brock a damn waiver..
[via CBS Sports]
Image via Facebook/ Isaiah Brock