- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Kudos to the NCAA for granting 25-year-old former U.S. Marine Steven Rhodes immediate eligibility to play for Middle Tennessee State. The purist in me would like to think that the NCAA applied common sense to the situation and saw that Rhodes, who played in an intramural-like league last year, shouldn’t have to sit out a season. The skeptic in me sees the NCAA grabbing some good pub by lending a hand to a veteran. Either way, the NCAA made the right decision.
2. Frank Beamer is starting his 27th season as head coach at his alma mater, Virginia Tech. In his new autobiography, Let Me Be Frank, ghosted by Jeff Snook, Beamer tells the story of two coaches who gave up their own advancement for his career. As a young assistant at Murray State, Ron Zook turned down a promotion to defensive coordinator so that head coach Mike Gottfried would hire Beamer. And after the 1986 season, Beamer’s mentor, Bobby Ross, pulled out of the running at Virginia Tech to make way for Beamer. Funny how good guys attract good guys.
3. As the football season begins, op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times have defended football against the steady criticism that the sport has received regarding brain health. Still, the stink raised by the families of deceased players who suffered dementia has set in motion a lot more research on concussions, as well as a search for safer equipment. Only good can come out of that.