Tuesday July 12th, 2016

Your teams on the go or at home. Personalize SI with our new App. Install on iOS or Android.

A new service academy policy will allow athletes who graduate from Army, Navy and Air Force to pursue professional sports immediately after graduation, the Air Force confirmed Monday.

The Colorado Springs Gazette first reported the new policy.

The academies made the change in its policy in May. Previously, athletes who graduated from the schools were required to serve 24 months of active duty before being placed on reserve status to participate in professional sports.

Though graduates can now apply for reserve duty immediately after graduation, Air Force athletic director Jim Knowlton told the Gazette decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis. The shift in policy was partially inspired by Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft. 

Reynolds, who broke numerous records while at Navy, was quickly aided by the Navy to ensure he could start his pro sports career immediately.

The policy will not only aid current athletes, but in the future could help service academies recruit prospects who were wary of the 24-month commitment.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.