As the final minutes of the Cardinal’s 27-23 victory over the Oregon State Beavers on Senior Day wound down, a teary-eyed Terrence Stephens took it all in, embracing his teammates on the sidelines. Why not? Stanford has been on an incredible run back to relevance since Stephens’ career began in 2009 and the nose tackle has had perhaps his best season yet in 2012. The game was his curtain call on The Farm, and the emotion of an intense victory over an upstart division rival took over. Stephens played in the upset win over Oregon before missing the Cardinal’s final two wins over UCLA to handle “a personal matter,” but unforunately he won’t be around to help his team win their biggest game yet.

According to Stanford officials, Stephens has been ruled ineligible for the Rose Bowl. The nose tackle was charged with a secondary NCAA violation regarding rental of off-campus housing. Backup David Parry will step in to replace him.

I thought the NFL’s uniform violations were petty, but this is one of the strangest “violations” I have ever heard of. Very little information has been released about what Stephens’ did wrong, but the problem seems to center on how his housing fees were paid. Ultimately, Stephens will miss the most important game of his collegiate career. As a result, Stanford will be without one of its biggest defensive anchors.

Parry filled in well in his two appearances against UCLA. While Stephens may have contributed more by commanding double teams and freeing up Stanford’s linebacking corps, his stat sheet only turns up 10 tackles on the 2012 season. Parry halved that total with five solo tackles in his first appearance against the Bruins, and he had one more in the Pac-12 Championship game.