Two dozen players on Army's football team have been linked to an academic cheating scandal, according to USA TODAY.
In May, 73 cadets were accused of cheating on a calculus exam that was administered remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifty-five of those cadets were athletes, including 24 on the football team, reports USA TODAY.
Of the 24, 17 remain on the football team, and a few have played in games this season, according to the report. Some could suit up when Army takes the field Thursday against West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl.
On Nov. 30, the cadets were found in violation of the academy's honor code. The academy has not named the cadets, and their punishment will be determined in January.
Army's honor code states, "a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do."
Lt. Col Christopher Ophardt, a spokesman at Army, told USA TODAY some players are allowed to play because West Point's superintendent, Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, suspended a policy in October that limited or prevented cadets found in violation of the academy's honor code from representing the academy in public, including athletes at sports events. Had Williams not suspended the policy, most of the cadets would not have been eligible to play after Nov. 30.
Williams ordered a review of the policy and his decision to suspend it was not related to the football season, Ophardt told USA TODAY.
"We didn’t cancel the punishment," Ophardt told USA TODAY. "We delayed it until final adjudication."
The latest news of this investigation comes after 58 cadets admitted to cheating on the exam. Most of them were in their first year at the academy and have been enrolled in a rehabilitation program.
One of the biggest cheating scandals that took place at the United States Military Academy took place in 1976, when 153 cadets at West Point resigned or were expelled for cheating on an electrical engineering exam.
The Black Knights, who are 9–2 on the season, enter Thursday's bowl game as the COVID-19 replacement for Tennessee. Army is headed to its ninth bowl game and fourth under coach Jeff Monken.
Army last played on Dec. 19, when the Black Knights defeated Air Force 10–7 for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.
West Virginia (5–4) will play in its 38th all-time bowl game Thursday. The Mountaineers have not played since Dec. 5, when they suffered a 42–6 loss at Iowa State.