Oakland University is planning to appeal a decision by the NCAA that ruled freshman forward Isaiah Brock, an Army veteran, ineligible for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com reported Wednesday the NCAA deemed Brock didn't meet the requirements to play college basketball based on his high school transcript from 2011, even though his standardized test score qualified and he's done successful work in college-level courses.
Oakland athletic director Jeff Konya told CBSSports.com he believes the governing body of college athletics is making a mistake by focusing on grades from so long ago:
I don't want to speak for the NCAA, but I think they put an emphasis on Isaiah Brock in 2011 and what his credentials at that time would suggest. But 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.
Golden Grizzlies head coach Greg Kampe noted Brock wasn't concerned about the numbers necessary to play college basketball in 2011.
"He never even thought about getting eligible out of high school," Kampe said, per Parrish. "He was always just going to join the Army."
That's exactly what Brock did in 2012. He spent four years serving the United States in the Middle East. He explained his role to CBSSports.com: "I aided in the process of returning these fallen heroes back home."
For that, Parrish noted he received several honors, including the Army Commendation Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.
Kampe initially met Brock during a trip to the Middle East for the Troops First Foundation's Hardwood Classic, a basketball tournament for soldiers attended by coaches from around the country.
The Oakland head coach told Parrish he quickly gained respect for the 6'8" standout for his work in the war zone. He stated the idea to bring him on the team was more about leadership and being a valuable resource to the program and that he told Brock playing time wasn't a guarantee.
Then, after taking college courses while still in the Army, Brock took Kampe's offer and joined the squad. The 22-year-old is listed on the team's official roster at 6'8", but he needs to put on some weight at 191 pounds.
Whether he'll get the opportunity to play this season rests in the NCAA's hands, though. Oakland, which is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is scheduled to tip off the campaign against Bowling Green on Friday, Nov. 11.