The NCAA college football team for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, better known as the Army team, has self-reported recruiting violations that involved offering cadets alcohol, women, cash and VIP treatment. The The Colorado Springs Gazette obtained documents detailing these violations—which include dinner dates with female cadets and promotion of underage drinking—and the academy has acknowledged that the incident did occur.
20 cadets, two officers and two coaches have been disciplined in regards to the incident that occurred back in January. The infractions also included a party for the recruits and a party bus complete with cheerleaders and escorted by the police.
On January 24 fourteen recruits arrived at West Point, and were given a trip to Palisades Mall, where they ended up at a bowling alley that is known to look the other way regarding underage drinking. Booster money paid for the alcohol consumed by the underage recruits that evening, including reports of "beer towers" and binge drinking.
The players involved included starting quarterback Angel Santiago, but all the players will still be eligible to play for the team, and none face dismissal or any serious punishments like a court martial for officers. All the players involved will also be able to play in next week's game against the Air Force Academy on November 1 at West Point's Michie Stadium.
"Although seen as a minor infraction by the NCAA, the U.S. Military Academy takes this very seriously and adjudicated this at the highest level of the disciplinary code," said the statement that West Point released. "We adjudicated this under Article 10 of the Cadet Disciplinary Code and all cadets appeared before the Commandant's Disciplinary Board."
According to West Point spokeswoman Theresa Brinkerhoff, the punishments were handled "administratively," and that's why they weren't disclosed to the public. Brinkerhoff also said that administrative punishments don't impact athletic eligibility.
The NCAA issued a warning earlier this month to Army, and though no sanctions were broguht, coach Jeff Monken may face suspension if more violations incur. Monken knew of the incident and did not report it to the NCAA or to authorities at West Point. He did, however, punish those involved by pulling them from the spring practice game.
Last month, West Point introduced a new guide for recruit visits and included a guideline that an officer must be present at all times.