air force athlete misconduct: Air Force Sports Program Under Internal Investigation Over Misconduct
Colorado Springs, Colorado – Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Air Force Academy Superintendent, publicly acknowledged that the sports programs are under an internal investigation following claims that athletes have been involved in misconduct of the sort that landed several players in court-martial proceedings three years ago. The investigation comes after the Colorado Gazette exposed player misconduct amid a culture of lax rules. The academy had thought such matters were behind them after 32 players were investigated for involvement in activities such as administering date rape drugs. Several players were court-martialed and expelled from the school.
Now, Lt. General Johnson has stated that the office of the inspector general, the military’s version of “internal affairs”, will be conducting an investigation into the matter to determine what type of misconduct is occurring and whether coaches have been turning a blind eye to the behavior. The superintendent recently addressed a closed meeting of the coaches and admonished them that any lax enforcement of school standards threatens to expose the prestigious academy to the same scandal as what Jerry Sandusky did to Penn State. One academy athletic director by the name of Hans Meuh reports that the coaches were sternly upbraided with some saying they had never been castigated as sternly as they were during that meeting.
This past behavior was troubling and suggested certain subcultures that were inconsistent with the culture of commitment and climate of respect we work hard to uphold. In part, recognition of this prior misconduct has caused us to refocus on our culture and climate.
“I’ve personally visited the Athletic Department on several occasions to meet with the coaches and administrators to communicate my expectations and to highlight their important role in cadet development. The Athletic Department has responded.”
Athletics director Hans Mueh told the Gazette, “I think everybody now, we have heightened awareness. We have been hurt by the actions of these really bad actors. From here on, the recruiting process will be much more intensive in terms of character.”
Apparently, the Air Force has yet to fully deal with the 2011 party gone wild and its 2010 predecessor. Allegations are that the parties were alcohol fueled with players giving others date rape drugs. In the aftermath of the 2010 party, 5 cadets quit the academy of their own volition and 21 others were expelled. The 2011 party aftermath saw 32 people investigated. The question isn’t whether the academy came down hard on people involved in misconduct because they did. The question is whether exceptions were made for those who were athletes and therein lies the target of the investigation.
Report: Serious misconduct in Air Force athletics