Idaho St Air Force Football

News Desk: Allegations And More At Air Force

A list of the newsworthy items to emerge from this story by Tom Roeder of the Colorado Springs Gazette, detailing a whole host of problems at the Air Force Academy’s athletic department:

* Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson has called for an Inspector General’s investigation of the Air Force athletic department.

* A planned 2012 sting operation was canceled due to worries that undercover agents at a party wouldn’t be fully equipped to protect women from rape.

* More than a dozen “problem” athletes have left Air Force the past three years.

* At a party on December 2, 2011, cadet athletes allegedly engaged in gang rape. Alcoholic beverages laced with “roofies” were allegedly used in at least some instances. According to Office of Special Investigations (OSI) confidential informant Eric Thomas, “four or five females did not recall what occurred the following day after the party.” (NOTE: OSI is not subject to supervision by academy commanders.)

* Relating to athlete conduct both before and after that party on Dec. 2, 2011, 32 cadet athletes were investigated. According to Superintendent Johnson, three were court-martialed, sentenced and discharged, two of them football players. Five others were eventually dismissed, three basketball players and two football players. Six other cadets resigned. Three others were booted from the academy for unrelated incidents of misconduct. Of 16 football players investigated in this group of 32, seven graduated.

* In relationship to this Dec. 2 party, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh said he didn’t learn about the probe until after the team’s bowl game, played on Dec. 23 of that year (the Military Bowl against Toledo).

* According to Eric Thomas, partygoers (at that Dec. 2 party) were told by cadets to “keep their mouths shut or they won’t like what will happen.”

* Former Air Force Superintendent Mike Gould, a member of the College Football Playoff Committee, was in charge of the Academy from 2009 to 2013, during which many of these incidents of misconduct — some proven and some alleged — occurred.

* Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun said he wasn’t told about allegations concerning abusive sexual contact by linebacker Jamil Cooks toward a female cadet until July of 2012. The female cadet made the accusation in February of 2012. The incident was alleged to have occurred in May of 2011.

* Former academy economics professor David Mullin said that Air Force basketball player Nick Welch was allowed to complete a course on microeconomic theory “several months later,” after the course actually began. Mullin added, “This was also most unusual.”

* Thomas, the informant, told Air Force investigators that some professors gave athletes special favors, such as a chance to retake tests. Details on this part of the OSI probe remain unclear. Athletic director Hans Mueh and other officials were insistent in saying that preferential treatment as described by Mullin and Thomas were not accurate.

* In 2012, 78 cadets — including what the Gazette terms a “large contingent of athletes” — were accused of cheating on a math exam, and that more recently, 40 cadets were investigated for cheating on a chemistry assignment. This is, according to the Gazette, “the fourth probe of cheating involving a group of cadets at the school since 2004. In those incidents, scores of athletes have been implicated.”

* The Gazette reported that “Until the 1990s, any cadet caught cheating was automatically expelled. Now, first-time cheaters are given probation and allowed to stay at the school.”

Matt Zemek

About Matt Zemek

Matt Zemek is the managing editor of The Student Section, covering college football and basketball with associate editors Terry Johnson and Bart Doan. Mr. Zemek is also Bloguin's lead tennis writer, covering the major tournaments in 2014. He contributes to Crossover Chronicles and other Bloguin sites.

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