The NCAA might just as well become another department of the government and build a lavish headquarters building in Washington. Its bureaucratic culture would make it a perfect fit. The complexity of its rules would make for a seamless merger. And the high-handed, arrogant management style would make the transition almost frictionless.

The NCAA's latest exercise in pee wee totalitarianism, as the AP reports, is to rule that:

A Middle Tennessee freshman who finished five years of active service in the Marines this summer ...

Is not eligible to play college ball:

... because he played in a recreational league in the military.

Well, rules are rules and, after all:

By NCAA standards, Steven Rhodes' play at the Marine base counted as "organized competition," because there were game officials, team uniforms and the score was kept.

They actually kept score. Shocking.

Rules are rules. And if the NCAA ruled that Rhodes could play ... why people might lose faith in the integrity of college football.

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