17 West Point football players accused in cheating scandal still remain on team

west point
Army cadets march on to the field before the 121st Army-Navy game, in West Point, New York, December 12, 2020.
  • Twenty-four West Point cadets accused of cheating on a final exam are football players.
  • Seventeen of those players still remain on the team that is scheduled to appear in a bowl game against West Virginia on Thursday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Twenty-four of the 73 West Point cadets accused of cheating on a final exam were football players, and 17 of them remain on the team that will appear in the Liberty Bowl against West Virginia on Thursday, the academy confirmed on Wednesday.

Some of the players played in the last three games, despite being implicated in the cheating, which is subject to an ongoing investigation, a West Point official told Insider in a statement. The players' inclusion in the investigation was first reported by USA Today.

West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams said in an October memo that the school's policy on athletes who broke its honor code was unfair. The policy preventing cadets from performing at public sporting events was suspended and a potential punishment is expected to be administered in January.

West Point's honor code reads, "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."

"We didn't cancel the punishment," spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt told USA Today. "We delayed it until final adjudication."

In a letter sent to school staff on Wednesday and seen by USA Today, Williams said, "I own this cheating incident" and that "these Cadets chose the easier wrong over the harder right."

The final exam was administered virtually in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vast majority of students accused of cheating are first-year cadets.

West Point's football team, the Black Knights, have had a noteworthy 9-2 season that included a 15-0 win against their rival, the US Naval Academy, in the schools' annual game in December.

In 1951, over 30 West Point football players were implicated in another cheating scandal, according to the The New York Times.

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