Judge: No diplomas for 6 US Merchant Marine Academy athletes

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) A judge says six players on the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy soccer team can participate in weekend graduation ceremonies, but will not receive diplomas.

They are the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General. A Long Island congressman says the investigation involves possible sexual harassment.

Republican Peter King has said seven players are involved, but only six challenged an academy ruling barring them from graduating.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler ruled Thursday after meeting with attorneys for the players, U.S. Attorney's office and academy. He set a July 6 hearing to decide whether they should be granted diplomas and shipping licenses.

Four of the players attended the session but did not speak with reporters after the ruling.

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