[ABC News]

The NCAA granted a college-bound ex-Marine a waiver today after he appealed a rule that would have kept him sidelined for his first season — all because he played in a recreational football league while he was enlisted.

Steven Rhodes, 24, who was discharged this summer after five years of active duty, is now eligible to play all four years at Middle Tennessee State University, according to an NCAA statement.

Furthermore, the NCAA said its “members will examine the organized competition rules, especially as it impacts those returning from military service.”

The strapping ex-Marine accepted a walk-on opportunity with the Middle Tennessee State University’s Blue Raiders this fall as a tight end and defensive prospect. However, the NCAA ordered him to red shirt for one year because of the recreational games he played while enlisted.