On Thursday, Air Force football Coach Troy Calhoun was buying lunch for Colorado Springs residents. However, in the wake of a report today by the Colorado Springs Gazette, folks there may have lost some of their appetite for cheering on Calhoun’s Falcons.
The report lists a number of actions by Air Force Academy athletes that would violate any university’s code of conduct, and certainly that of an institution whose stated mission is to train young people not just to be soldiers but exemplary citizens and leaders.
The Gazette story — parts of which were substantiated by AFA documents obtained through the Freedom of Information act — includes the findings of a probe by the academy’s Office of Special Investigations into a December 2011 party. Students, including a number of athletes, gathered in the woods near the school and, according to the OSI report, a bottle of rum was passed around that was specifically meant to be consumed by women.
The bottle was allegedly laced with “roofies,” a drug associated with date rapes. According to the report, a student cooperating with OSI told investigators that “four or five females did not recall what occurred the following day after the party.” At one point the party moved to a bedroom, where “multiple male cadets had sexual intercourse with other unknown females.”
As a result of the probe, 32 Air Force cadets, including 16 members of the football team, received closer investigation. Ultimately, three football players and two basketball players were dismissed; of the 16 football players, seven wound up graduating from the academy.
Between 2012 and 2013, two football players and a “recruited athlete” were given jail terms for sexual assaults.
Documents released to the Gazette story also pointed to usage by athletes of the synthetic marijuana-like substance called “spice.” A raid by OSI investigators into dorm rooms resulted in the departure of 26 cadets, but it was unclear how many were athletes.
The report also listed allegations of academic malfeasance, including cheating by cadets on exams and preferential treatment given to athletes.
AFA superintendent Michelle Johnson, a former star basketball player at the academy, announced that she had asked the Air Forces’ Inspector General’s office to review the school’s athletic department.
AFA Athletic Director Hans Mueh told the Gazette, “From here on, the recruiting process will be much more intensive in terms of character.”