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Air Force Academy athletics under scrutiny

Air Force athletics under scrutiny

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Air Force Academy said Sunday it has launched an investigation of its athletic department and is demanding more accountability from coaches after the Colorado Springs Gazette reported allegations of lax oversight and athlete misconduct.

Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, the academy’s superintendent, released a statement acknowledging “troubling” behavior by some athletes and other cadets. She cited a 2011 party that eventually led to the court-martial and expulsions of several cadets, some for sexual misconduct.

Johnson told The Gazette that the academy inspector general’s office will look into the athletic department to determine whether sports programs promote the school’s ideals.

Johnson recently summoned coaches to a meeting and told them continued misconduct by athletes would put the school in a predicament like Penn State, where former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of child sexual abuse, said Hans Mueh, the academy athletic director.

“(The coaches) still talk to me and say, ‘I have never been chewed out like that before,’ ” Mueh told The Gazette.

Johnson said she made her expectations clear, and in response, coaches and athletes have created several programs to explain and enforce academy standards.

– Associated Press

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