Officials at West Point said that there were no booster funds used during a January football recruiting outing, which resulted in the school disciplining 20 cadets, including starting quarterback Angel Santiago, and self-reporting violations to the NCAA.
United States Military Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr. said in a statement the funds were distributed according to NCAA rules, but the handling of those funds resulted in the violations. NCAA rules permit cadet hosts to spend $40 per day on each recruit.
The Colorado Spring Gazette reported last weekend that recruits were offered "an alcohol-fueled party," along with a "dinner date with female cadets, cash from boosters and VIP treatment on a party bus complete with cheerleaders and a police escort."
Caslen said that recruits were taken to the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, New York, about 30 minutes from campus. Caslen acknowledged that the outing included underage drinking at a bowling alley with members of the team and several recruits, and “other questionable behavior.”
The police escort mentioned in the report complied with state law but that no military police escort was ever utilized, Caslen said, adding that the academy has discontinued the practice.
“There was no 'cover up.' West Point is prohibited from disclosing or discussing personnel matters and ongoing investigations by the federal Privacy Act. We did a deliberate investigation, held individuals accountable, and reported rules violations to the NCAA,” Caslen said in the statement.
- Scooby Axson