Listen, we know sports is comprised of games — and/or competition — that when compared to military service or especially combat … um yeah, there is no comparison. If we’re real here. One is recreation, and one is literally life and death.
But, YOU WOULD THINK that if you’ve done the latter (risk your life for your country in war zones overseas) you’d be rewarded by one of the largest organizations in America and be permitted to do the former.
You would think, right?
Apparently not though.
Because this garbage news came across the other day:
Isaiah Brock is a decorated war hero. The NCAA just ruled him ineligible. That needs to be corrected, ASAP. COLUMN: https://t.co/Kwz3UhP8yv
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) October 5, 2016
We encourage you to read Mr. Parrish’s entire story by clicking that link within the tweet, and reading up on Isaiah Brock’s entire, incredible story, but in case you’re pressed for time, here’s a snippet that begins with a story about an incident in Afghanistan where he survived an escaped terrorist firing from shots from a watchtower:
“We could see the gunfire,” Brock said. “He was right there.”
By luck, or the grace of a higher power, Brock survived that incident and every other thing that goes along with serving this country in a foreign land where enemies come in all forms. Documents show he’s responsible for assisting in the extraction of more than 30 fallen soldiers, meaning if you know somebody who died fighting for the United States in recent years, it’s possible Brock helped return them home …
… on a lighter note, he’s always enjoyed basketball …
“We scrimmaged [former UCLA head coach Steve] Lavin’s team one day, and there’s this 6-foot-8 kid who actually looks like he can play a little bit,” Kampe said. “I got to talking to him, and when I found out his story I was like … wow. Here’s a guy whose job is to go into the battlefield and extract bodies. The medics go and get the wounded. The ones who are dead, it’s his job to get them out.”
Brock told Kampe he planned to attend college after he was discharged.
Kampe was intrigued.
“I just thought maybe I could bring him to Oakland and give back and help this young man get his education,” [Oakland University head basketball coach Greg] 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. I wanted my players to meet him and be around him. And if he ever played basketball, that would be awesome, too. So I told him I couldn’t promise playing time. But I told him I could give him an opportunity to experience college basketball.”
Now, Brock was intrigued.
So he started taking online college courses while he was still serving. He took two classes and got a B in both. He was discharged from the Army this past April. He enrolled at Oakland in June. He took two summer classes. He got an A in one and a B in the other. He’s now on Oakland’s student-athlete advisory committee. He’s been mentoring and even tutoring younger athletes.
And the NCAA just ruled him ineligible.
Apparently, the NCAA is hung up on Brock’s high school transcripts that aren’t up to their standards. Standards that clearly don’t take into account that he attended a subpar school system in Baltimore that failed to prepare students for college AND the fact that he SERVED HIS COUNTRY AS A DECORATED MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY upon graduating from high school.
Or that he has an acceptable standardized test score.
Oakland plans to appeal the decision.
Who knows — if the nation makes a big enough stink about this injustice, perhaps they’ll have no other choice but to amend their gaff?