Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Army21Navy17HOOAH, Jan 2, 2018.
Read another article written by a graduate of West Point who was also a professor and resigned due to the “special treatment” and focus on football rather than the rules. I guess football $$$ importance has gained utmost importance even at our military academies.
"....and the band....played....on..."
This cadet's death was only somewhat preventable since he chose to break a number of WP rules that were already in place to prevent this kind of tragedy. This year, WP strengthened the rules by not allowing the cadets to leave until Sat am (after the first football game which was on a Fri. The previous year, the cadets were allowed to leave that Fri night after the football game). So, in essence, every WP cadet was penalized by having less leave time because one cadet decided to break the rules the previous year.
We hear about these types of incidents and I often ask myself how this could have been prevented. Obviously, there were many who could have stepped in and tried to reign this behavior in. They ALL failed. They failed the taxpayers, the parents of this young man, and the young man himself. Ultimately, the cadet made the decision and paid a steep price with the loss of his life. As parents, we all need to educate our kids about the consequences of their actions. Fortunately, another family didn't have to suffer due to the negligent decision to drink and drive as is so often the case. The concern I have is with the admissions board and the system of allowing these types of kids into the academy in the first place. The honor of attending a academy is supposed to be based one's moral character as well as other factors such as the 3Q's. To many people are turning a blind eye and writing letters of recommendation for kids that don't deserve to be considered for admission. The red flags are very visible in many of these cases. However, until the academies wake up and once again realize that their mission is to train officers to be future leaders of our military, and not football players (pick a sport), these types of questionable applicants who violate the rules will continue to be granted access to our prestigious military schools.
When I was a cadet football players did not get an unreasonable amount of special treatment, did not fail classes at an abnormally high rate, did not have more discipline problems than other cadets, and did not win football games.
Service academies compete very well at the D1 level in many sports without compromising standards. Football is not one of them. Academies should play football and any other "professionalized" sport in a league commensurate with their academic stature and size of student body - IVY League or NESCAC.
I agree with this. I was so disappointed to read this article. My Cadet told me that much of was stated was already known by the cadets. I would have hoped that the football team would hold themselves to a higher standard than the typical, run-of-the-mill D1 college football program. It is a shame to hear they are not.
Shenanigans have been going on for a long time: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-bus-alcohol-soaked-outing-bowling-alley.html
Thanks Bookreader. Exactly and everything is more preventable, where do you draw the line? To make it worse, those who went to football game and had anticipated being able to have their Cadet on leave with them that night were forced to spend a night or drive back the next day. They will likely keep the policy in place and in a few years people will be saying this policy is so asinine. There are many, many rules already in place. This was sad and accidents and deaths happen, and at a much more frequent rate at normal colleges. If you want to wrap your kid in bubble wrap, fine, but don't expect to get anything but mush in return. These kids will be going off to fight wars. Don't buy into the naysayers and axe grinders.
Football players or not, these are normal kids who, but for the grace of god, make mistakes in judgment. Cadets who aren't football players also get alcohol boards, hide cars in Highland Falls, are accused of sexual misconduct, cheat, etc. The lucky ones are alive to learn from their experience and grow up. And yes, whether on a corps squad or not, they are the minority. This story appears to have been released as part of a personal vendetta by a disgruntled former employee. It's heartbreaking all around.
They are just normal kids; however, one of the points of the story appears to be that the football players are not always held to the same accountability standards as non-football playing cadets. The "special" treatment of football players is a source of some of the pervading cynicism within the ranks of the cadets.
My father was a normal kid.
never could attend college, as he worked from age 14 in the grocery store to support his invalided parents during the depression.
tutored the football star in math.
signed up right after Dec 7, without his Mama's permission, and off to Camp Pendleton it was.
survived 4 Pacific assaults, including Guadalcanal, and stood shoulder to shoulder for 76 hours with Col Shoup in a hole on Tarawa.
Made it home to his Mama, and carried mental and physical scars with him the rest of his life. never ate rice again. Never a word about the war.
Never drank. never smoked. never cheated on his wife. Played The Thunderer on the stereo at full volume to wake us every Sunday morning.
A normal kid with great respect for his commanding officers.
Would be very happy to know his Grandson was USMA - because - as everybody....knows...... at USMA, they're not normal kids..... they are preparing to take care of the normal kids....
...and it was hard putting DS back on that plane today....
@AirsoftRanger - Loved your post.
Guess your kid was one of the ones who had to deal with cancelled flights and delayed travel plans. We sure had crazy weather here. My husband drove our son and another cadet up to WP on Thurs. He passed lots of stuck cars and trucks. It was a white-knuckle drive at times but thankfully they arrived in one piece.
Sorry to burst people's bubbles, but West Point (and all the service academies), are a cross section of America. They have the great, and the not so great. A few of the cadets become great officers. The majority become average officers. A few become poor officers. They are normal kids in an abnormal environment (some very long faces on returning cadets this week). Sometimes they blow off steam, sometimes they go too far... and it's nothing new. Illegal drinking? Google "Eggnog Riot West Point". Cadets with illegal cars? Read "The Long Gray Line". It's been going on for years. Out after hours? It happens. I remember one of my brothers being caught climbing the wall at USNA (he became a very good officer). And if you're caught you get punished. My brother missed some holidays.
This is not to excuse or condone such behavior or to say that it should go unpunished if discovered. It often is punished. But this is nothing new.
As for football players getting special treatment, my DD hears the same thing as a core athlete. Yeah, they get some privileges, but they give up quite a bit as well. Cadets complain about having no summer. My DD will literally have no summer if she has to go to Air Assault school due to sport commitments. Yes, they miss marching and get to travel. But they also have to make it up to conditioning 3 days a week in the off season. Run down to the practice field if they miss the bus. They often miss holidays, depending on the sport.
Again, this is not to condone what happened, or to condone any faculty and coaches who may have turned a blind eye to underage drinking (though they may have assumed he was of age). But to use this as a general indictment of West Point is going a little far.
I remember when I did a "Link in the Chain" event my 1/C year talking to some class of '62 grads...these were guys who went on to be decorated Marine Corps officers or fly combat missions over Vietnam. The first thing they told us young MIDN about was how they used to sneak comic books into the chapel to read mandatory Sunday services, rent party houses juuust outside the 7 mile liberty limit, and blow their commissioning loans on sports cars.
Cadet/MIDN shenanigans are eternal. That doesn't mean bad behavior (and especially criminal behavior) should be condoned, but that the amount of hand-wringing that always goes on here when parents find out that Cadets and Mids sometimes do stuff like drink underage or step over the line gets absurd. They're not monks.
...And Blackhawk would have gotten the "like" from me no matter what just for mentioned the Egg Nog Riot, one of my favorite little history footnotes.
Hats off to Hurricane and Blackhawk. I always bristle at sweeping generalizations on this forum. Now can we get back to the purpose of this forum which is to do our best to offer advice and or guidance to candidates applying to USMA and support parents attempting to understand this extremely complicated process?
Should we celebrate that we've strived for average?
Strive for average? Seriously? The college experience of these kids (and they are kids), is hardly “average”. But they represent a cross section of America and they should do so. They may be a little smarter and a little more athletic, but they are still kids. They will push the boundaries. If you look at the history of the military many of the greatest officers, and not just in the US, were those who pushed the boundaries and got caught painting outside the lines.
I prefer a warrior elite. YMMV and it might not hit all the demographic check boxes.
Yeah. It does a great job. But...
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