The football team of the United States Military Academy at West Point, better known as The Army team, attempted to recruit high school football players by offering them alcohol, dinner dates with female cadets, and cash.
The US Military Academy has reported the misconduct to The Gazette (Colorado Springs) which explains that the high school athletes were lured with “an alcohol-fueled party, a dinner date with female cadets, cash from boosters and VIP treatment on a party bus complete with cheerleaders and a police escort.”
The Gazette stated that 20 cadets have been disciplined by the school for promoting underage drinking and other misdeeds. The incident occurred back in January when two police officers, who were escorts for a bus of cheerleaders, and two coaches were found to be involved and punished.
The Army team itself reported the football recruiting violation to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and was later revealed on October 24 in a report by The Gazette.
The football players involved, including Army starting quarterback Angel Santiago, are expected to play at West Point’s Michie Stadium on November 1, when Army takes on the Air Force Academy.
Army- Air Force match. Aug. 30, 2013 (photo: stripes)
According to the report, those involved avoided serious punishment as no coaches or players were dismissed from the academy nor received any kind of suspension besides being reprimanded.
“Although seen as a minor infraction by the NCAA, the US Military Academy takes this very seriously and adjudicated this at the highest level of the disciplinary code”, West Point said in a statement. “We adjudicated this under Article 10 of the Cadet Disciplinary Code and all cadets appeared before the Commandant’s Disciplinary Board”.
A West Point spokesman told The Gazette that the academy did not relate publicly the incident as it was handled “administratively”.
The NCAA issued a warning earlier this month to Army saying that football coach Jeff Monken, who knew about the incident but did not report it to the NCAA, could face a suspension if further violations occur. He, however, punished the cadets involved by pulling them from the spring game.
West Point’s revelations come after an increasing scrutiny for player misconduct in military academy athletic programs.