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More than 70 cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point were accused of cheating on a math exam, the worst academic scandal since the 1970s at the Army’s premier training ground for officers.
Fifty-eight cadets admitted cheating on the exam, which was administered remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them have been enrolled in a rehabilitation program and will be on probation for the remainder of their time at the academy. Others resigned, and some face hearings that could result in their expulsion.
The scandal strikes at the heart of the academy’s reputation for rectitude, espoused by its own moral code, which is literally etched in stone:
“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”
Tim Bakken, a law professor at West Point, called the scandal a national security issue. West Point cadets become senior leaders the nation depends on.
The United States Military Academy is proud to announce the Rhodes Scholars for the Class of 2021, CDT Tyrese Bender and CDT Evan Walker. They are of 32 scholars from the United States and will be joining recipients from more than 60 other countries. The last time West Point had more than one Rhodes scholar was back in 2014.
The return of college football to West Point on Saturday is a reminder of what’s been normal over a century, and what is peculiar to 2020.
Fans will not be permitted at Michie Stadium for the season opener against Middle Tennessee State and the Sept. 12 game against Louisiana-Monroe, except for nearly 4,000 cadets, due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions. It should make for a strange sight for the teams involved, plus a national television audience on CBS Sports Network (1:30 p.m.).
“It will be an incredible experience, whether there are fans or not,” said senior co-captain Amadeo West. “We are fortunate to be playing. And the cadets … they bring enthusiasm and excitement to the game. … It’s not a negative thing that there are no fans. We’re just happy.”
“We’re really excited, the whole team,” said senior defensive lineman Nick Stokes. “We’ve been looking forward to this since we got back.”
There were moments at the start of summer when talk of canceling the college football season was prevalent, and concern set in about whether there would even be a season.
WEST POINT – Four of the cadet candidates who arrived on campus at the United States Military Academy on Sunday to begin cadet basic training tested positive for COVID-19 and will spend their first weeks either in isolation or quarantine on campus.
Lt. Col. Robert Kinney confirmed Monday that the four cadet candidates, who were screened as part of their reception day on Sunday, will be isolated for 10 days or quarantined for 14 days on campus while their classmates begin their West Point careers with four weeks of cadet basic training.
Asked Monday if there were more cases, the public affairs office declined to state a number. Answering for the office, spokeswoman Cheryl Boujnida wrote: “Less than 1% of the cadets have tested positive. Those who tested positive were immediately moved into isolation and will participate in Cadet Basic Training tasks virtually until they can rejoin the group.”
Boujnida said the rapid test is administered by a nose swab and processed by a diagnostic device on campus. While awaiting results, which take two to three hours, the new cadets are socially distanced and required to wear a mask.