Dec 19, 2020; West Point, New York, USA; The Army Black Knights celebrate after beating the Air Force Falcons 10-7 at Michie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Report: 24 Army football players linked to cheating scandal

Two dozen football players at Army have been linked to an academic cheating scandal at the military academy, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Last week, USA Today said that 73 cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point had been accused of cheating on a calculus exam last May, with 58 of them admitting to having done so. Wednesday’s report said that in all, 55 of the cadets were athletes — including 24 football players.

Seventeen of them remain on the team, and some are expected to play on Thursday when Army (9-2) meets West Virginia (5-4) in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.

The math test was taken remotely during spring finals week because of the COVID-19 pandemic. USA Today said that most of the students who admitted to cheating have been put in a rehabilitation program and will be on probation for the duration of their time at the academy. Others resigned, and some will go through hearings that could lead to them being expelled.

Remaining punishments are expected to be handed out in January and were not delayed because of the football season, an academy official told USA Today.

West Point has a strict honor code that reads: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.”

In a letter sent to the West Point community on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by USA Today, academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams addressed the cheating scandal.

“These Cadets chose the easier wrong over the harder right,” Williams wrote. “As the Superintendent, I own this cheating incident. Furthermore, I and every leader at West Point own their role in developing leaders of character. The standards established by the Cadet Honor Code have not changed and the Honor System receives my personal investment of time and attention. West Point takes every Honor Code violation seriously.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 14, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A general view during the second quarter during the 120th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

West Point to host Army-Navy game on Dec. 12

The 121st Army-Navy game will be played on Dec. 12 at West Point, the first time since World War II the game has not been held at a neutral site.

The game is being relocated from Philadelphia due to attendance limits placed on outdoor events in Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 pandemic, which would have prevented the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen from attending.

“We want to thank the City of Philadelphia, the Eagles and all involved in the planning for their efforts to navigate this historic game in the current COVID-19 climate,” said Army athletic director Mike Buddie in a press release Friday. “We are excited about this historic opportunity to host Navy and the Brigade inside the gates of West Point for the first time since 1943.”

Fans other than students from the two U.S. service academies probably won’t be allowed to attend the contest at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y. The game will be televised by CBS at 3 p.m. ET.

Navy holds a 61-52 lead in the all-time series, including a 31-7 win last season in Philadelphia.

During World War II, the game was played at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in 1942 and at West Point in 1943. The schools also rotated hosting the first four meetings from 1890-93.

“History will repeat itself as we stage this cherished tradition on Academy grounds as was the case dating back to World War II,” Navy director of athletics Chet Gladchuk said. “Every effort was made to create a safe and acceptable environment for the Brigade, the Corps and our public while meeting city and state requirements. However, medical conditions and protocols dictate the environment in which we live.”

The Army Black Knights are off to a 5-1 start this season. The Navy Midshipmen are 3-2.

–Field Level Media