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Oct 08 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

The NCAA Just Ruled This Army Veteran Ineligible to Play Basketball

By Jenna Ciccotelli - Oct 08 2016
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Many people use sports to get their minds off of whatever it is that may be bothering them. For Isaiah Brock, basketball was there to help him relax from the tribulations of his post with the Mortuary Affairs Company in the U.S. Army, but according to CBS Sports, basketball wasn't there to help him back.

Brock was stationed in Afghanistan before Kuwait, where he was when he first participated in the Hardwood Classic. The event, run by the Troops First Foundation, gives troops a week off to participate in basketball games with coaches and a tournament. One of the participating coaches, Oakland University's Greg Kampe, was intrigued by Brock at first sight.

"There's this 6-foot-8 kid who actually looks like he can play a little bit," Kampe told CBS Sports. "I got to talking to him, and when I found out his story I was like...wow...I just thought maybe I could bring him to Oakland and give back and help this young man get his education."

College was in Brock's plan before he met with Kampe, but now it was a definite. He took classes online while serving in the Army and took summer classes at Oakland this past June after being discharged in April, passing every class with a B, and in one class an A.

With college basketball season just around the corner, the NCAA has ruled Brock ineligible to play.

His high school grades are causing the problem. Brock graduated from Forest Park High School in Baltimore, MD, where just that sole fact makes him somewhat of an anomaly. According to the U.S. News and World Report, only 70 percent of students graduate, and just 6 percent of those students demonstrate college readiness. Even though Brock has a qualifying standardized test score, according to CBS Sports, his high school education rules him ineligible in the eyes of the NCAA.

CBS Sports reported that Oakland plans to appeal the case, raising the point that Brock should not be held back due to five-year-old transcripts. The recipient of multiple awards while serving the U.S has demonstrated college readiness by passing several courses already and serving as a leader on the student athlete advisory committee at Oakland.

"Isaiah Brock in 2016 is a different person. He's taken college classes and passed them with a 3.0. So if the issue is that he's not prepared academically to do college work, I'd argue the proof is in the pudding," Oakland athletic director Jeff Konya told CBS Sports.

Brock plans to major in psychology and has plans to be a counselor. The NCAA still has an opportunity to make this right. Hopefully they do.

Lead Image Credit: Ivan Campos via Flickr Creative Commons


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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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