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West Point's Fumble
The Washington Post ^ | 24 February 2014 | Dwight S. Mears

Posted on 02/24/2014 6:48:41 PM PST by chargers fan

On Dec. 15, shortly after Army football’s 12th consecutive loss to the U.S. Naval Academy, the superintendent of West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen , announced that he was considering institutional changes to build a winning program. “When America puts its sons and daughters in harm’s way, they do not expect us to just ‘do our best’ . . . but to win,” he wrote. “Nothing short of victory is acceptable. . . . Our core values are Duty, Honor, Country. Winning makes them real.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Military/Veterans; Sports
KEYWORDS: beatnavy; football; westpoint
Not sure how many Old Grads are on this site but figured I would see if they had opinions. Basically the author is a history instructor who feels that the new emphasis by the Supe on putting together a winning football team will result in relaxed admission standards to allow better athletes in. This will in turn hurt the academy in the long run. He points to cheating scandals that occurred after the academy focused more on a winning program in the past. From when he was the Comm I can tell you the new Supe does make a winning program a big deal. The fact remains though that college football is one of the most popular pastimes and viewed things in the US and a winning Black Knights I do think would help in that regard, but at what cost? Frankly, I do think changes will come if for no other reason Old Grads (including the Supe) are tired of twelve years of getting "Nah Nah Nahs" and "Hey we're going bowling again this year" from the obnoxious members and alumni of the Yacht Club in Maryland.
1 posted on 02/24/2014 6:48:41 PM PST by chargers fan
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To: chargers fan

I say we ban all but intramural sports from our service academies and use those funds for more real education.


2 posted on 02/24/2014 7:01:17 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
relaxed admission standards to allow better athletes in. This will in turn hurt the academy in the long run.

I'd say, of course! But I have a family member who is a USMC grad -- I'll see what he thinks.

3 posted on 02/24/2014 7:08:39 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: chargers fan

I am not an Academy graduate, but I did serve on the faculty in both an Academic Department and in the USCC. I think that Caslen is on a fool’s errand, which was my view of several things that he did at the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth.

First class athletes in Division I football programs live a life that cannot be replicated at West Point. While subject to NCAA rules, the top notch programs still can offer perks that are simply beyond the reach of the Military Academy. Coupled with the service obligation that goes with graduation, West Point cannot recruit first rate players no matter what the academic standards might be. Navy does marginally better because of the location of the Naval Academy and the less austere reputation of Canoe U.

Caslan cannot turn this around and I don’t think that it makes much sense to try. The Academies are much better suited to the Ivy League than to the big leagues of the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, etc.


4 posted on 02/24/2014 7:13:05 PM PST by centurion316
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I believe the funds for athletics come from TV revenue, tickets, and donations.


5 posted on 02/24/2014 7:13:29 PM PST by chargers fan
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To: chargers fan

If the Army can promote an AA Hispanic to general ranks they can let in less intelligent football players without any harm.


6 posted on 02/24/2014 7:15:07 PM PST by CodeToad (Keeping whites from talking about blacks is verbal segregation!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The athletic departments at USMA and US A are privately funded


7 posted on 02/24/2014 7:15:46 PM PST by STJPII
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To: BenLurkin

Did you mean USMA grad?


8 posted on 02/24/2014 7:16:20 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: chargers fan

They’ll never beat Navy no matter what they try.


9 posted on 02/24/2014 7:19:00 PM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

winnah winnah chicken dinnah!

Look at the command climate suveys at the USAFA and see the divide between the cadets headed for 2LT service and the semi pros on the athletic teams.

Service academies can play each other, USCGA, VMI, Citadel etc and have an appropriately focused conference.


10 posted on 02/24/2014 7:27:20 PM PST by redlegplanner ( No Representation without Taxation)
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To: chargers fan

I was stationed at West Point. On of my neighbors, a history instructor, told me that the standards were relaxed and he was indignant that this was the best they could do with lowered standards.


11 posted on 02/24/2014 7:32:24 PM PST by Gamecock (Grace is not opposed to human activity. It's opposed to human merit. MSH)
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To: chargers fan

I’m a grad....and I once roomed with a football player.

Imho, academic standards are not what holds USMA back. The service obligation does. So how come Navy keepw beating them? For starters, the Navy has given the signal that, if you turn out to be pro material, they will bend the rules and make it happen. Also I believe Navy has been more lenient on pre-commissioning height/weight.

I often tell people that west point is a relic of the past - where the athletes truly are ‘student’ athletes. Sure they get special tutors and special treatment, but they really do go to school there. Most college teams...those guys would never get within a thousand yards of campus if it weren’t for football...they stay in.a special athlete dorm away from other students...and really don’t participate in the student experience in any way. I don’t mind that West Point still has real students playing. I would like to beat Navy though.


12 posted on 02/24/2014 7:44:22 PM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yes, I do.

He’ll never forgive me!


13 posted on 02/24/2014 8:01:49 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: chargers fan

We will see what this guy can do....@CoachJeffMonken


14 posted on 02/24/2014 8:05:45 PM PST by superfries
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To: chargers fan

I stopped at the second paragraph.

They want to relax admission standards for football???????

Unbelievable.

.


15 posted on 02/24/2014 8:12:05 PM PST by Mears
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To: lacrew

I think you’re correct; it’s a case of our football players, on average, are bigger and faster than your football players. USNA bends the rules a bit more than USMA, and has been more flexible if a player has pro prospects.


16 posted on 02/24/2014 8:31:55 PM PST by twister881
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To: lacrew

USNA grad here - it’s been back and forth in the 80s for a time USNA was looser but then tightened up partially because of alumni pushback - all should do their part. Napolean Mccallum is the one that really stuvk in rveryones craw - - only 5 year student, specisl benies to allow pro, etc. Staubach did his time why didnt nap do the same etc. David Robinson isn’t the example to use since technically he shouldn’t have been allowed to grad - too tall for stds. He wanted to serve though so they made him a PAO which was a good fit. I’ve seen a few from all the schools finish their time keep in shape and manage a few years after their commitment, but nothing like Nap unless its just not made as big a splash so I haven’t heard. My two cents is you want to go you serve otherwise don’t go. No exceptions. I think the bigger issue for USma over the last ten years is the higher risk of ground combat vs the others - USMC is out of Navy but selective and not forced.


17 posted on 02/24/2014 9:44:42 PM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothings)
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To: chargers fan

What about the Navy? Aren’t they supposed to win, too?


18 posted on 02/24/2014 9:59:56 PM PST by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: reed13k; chargers fan
Navy's gridiron success is due to superior coaching.

It is surprising that USMA doesn't realize the success or failure of any organization has far more to do with leadership than with the individual talents of its members.

19 posted on 02/25/2014 1:59:02 AM PST by Jacquerie ( Obama has established executive branch precedents that no election can reverse. Article V.)
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To: Jacquerie

I don’t disagree on the coaching, but USMA is having recruting issues as well (which could be blamed on the coaching staff I suppose). Their field success started the downward trend when they tried to introduce a “pro” offense about 3 coaches ago - the last one started heading them in the right direction with the option, but it takes 2-3 years to recruit the right players and get things in place. provided the new coach continues and doesn’t try to shift to a totally new package again they should start to come out of it.


20 posted on 02/25/2014 7:31:47 AM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothings)
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To: chargers fan

It seems the author created a false choice - lower standards or keep losing to Navy. I’m not sure Navy, has lowered standards much below where they were in 80’s/90’s when USMA did much better - USNA starts from a lower standards base anyway, as it is usually a candidates’ second choice anyway:)

We’re not talking about beating Alabama - just competitive against the other service academies like we used to be. Better coaching and recruiting is what is required, not a relaxing of standards. There are some amazing athletes on the West Point football team. My view is that some of the better football candidates choose Navy and Airforce because they don’t want to get blown up in Afghanistan. Much easier picture to paint for a 17 yr old to serve on a beach somewhere with palm trees and Mai Tais in the officers mess.


21 posted on 02/25/2014 2:12:30 PM PST by grayhog
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