11 Swimmers Removed From Air Force Academy Men’s Team

The United States Air Force Academy has removed 11 swimmers from the competition for the men’s swim team due to what it’s calling ‘misconduct.’ 9 of those 11 swimmers were in Houston at the WAC Championships and were  sent home once the accusations came to light, a statement from the school said.

“The Air Force Academy holds its cadets, staff and faculty to the highest standards of conduct because our nation demands it of us and it’s the right thing to do,” a press release from the school reads. “Part of our mission to develop leaders of character, is to hold those unwilling to meet these standards accountable and to ensure they understand that representing the Air Force Academy is a privilege.”

Citing privacy reasons, an Air Force Academy spokesperson declined to comment on the nature of the violations or what further violations they might be facing.

The Air Force men sat 2nd behind Wyoming after day 1 of the 2018 WAC Championships on Wednesday evening.

Updated with confirmation that 9 of the 11 cadets were attending the WAC Championships.

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Jackie Moon

What happened?


Good questions, but since it says 9 out of the 11 were at the conference meet. My guess is that this is related to something earlier in the season, maybe hazing?

Tell me something I don't know

All of the service academies have long histories with hazing, sexual harassment/assault, cheating, drug rings, etc. It could be almost anything along those lines, and it would be par for the course. Google any of the service academies and you’ll find dozens of articles referencing immoral and unethical behavior… and we’re not even talking about the really serious stuff like the WWII comfort women of the Phillipines and southeast Asia, or My Lai, or Tailhook, or Abu Ghraib. The fact that cadets were actually punished is the surprising part, not that something bad happened.


It’s like you just now watched a Few Good Men.


Yes it is sad because everyone loses when team leadership fails; there are no winners — except maybe future AF swimmers. Future swimmers won’t have to deal with the flawed team behavior; time to rebuild. Again “Bravo” to school officials for doing the right thing. Also, It is obvious that these comments are directly connect to the 11 suspensions (parents or cadets). They are too emotional and constantly trying to change the issue or attack someone’s character. It is a normal human reaction, but sad, because like the famous line in the movie states, “You can’t handle the truth.” But just remember initially everyone loses in these types of situations, and where there is smoke, there is fire. On a… Read more »


You fail to acknowledge that they’re 18-22 males. They’re discovering themselves just like all these other college-age people. People make mistakes. The best thing you can do is learn from these mistakes. You just see these”scandals” publicized more often than other agencies that cover stuff up. Get a grip.


Agreed. Served a lot of yrs in AF. Academy Officers for most part are top notch. Standards they are held to are very high. Get a laugh out of some of the comments from folks who never served. The closest they ever got to a uniform was working at Burger King.


Sir, you assume way too much. First, you cannot attempt to persuade others with false assumptions. I don’t need to share me family military history with you, but I can assure you — you could never come close. Your false dichotomy only shows your ignorance, and if others are persuaded by your “logical fallacies”, then you are the problem — not the solution. Now, the facts are we can only conclude it is related to morality, 18-22 year old men (especially military academy men and women) understand “right from wrong”. If they do NOT, then they do NOT belong at any military academy. In fact, I would not trust them to watch my dog. The reason is this — when… Read more »


All the self righteous garbage. Now I know why I stayed in military, and retired from the finest organization I have ever been associated with the USAF. Human beings make mistakes you feal with it, Academy did that. I’ll be leaving to go to Belize soon, fish for a couple of yrs and enjoy the scenery. Good luck to the self righteous former Burger king employees. Y’all definitely need to take a suppository. Later folks.


Sorry for typo, supposed to be deal.


Hey @J.RUSHFIRD, where in Belize are you retiring to? We’ve been in Caye Caulker since 9/2017 and absolutely love it! You coming down for the “Grand Slam” (a Bonefish, a Tarpon & a Permit, all caught with a barbless salt water fly fishing gear)? I’m not an angler, rather get my aquatic retirement fix in SCUBA gear, but I’m told Belize is the bullseye when it comes to the “Grand Slam”.

Thank You for your service.


Sorry for typo, supposed to be @J.RUSHFORD


My kids just told me about J. Rushford comment. My daughter is a swimmer and she works part-time at Burger King, learning about “work ethic”, and “life-work balance”, so here we have a grown-adult (who claims to be retired military) degrading working-class kids who work, while they study and swim. That is extremely disappointing to hear. I don’t believe you are retired military or have any connection to military officers. The apple probably does not fall far from the tree. I read another comment that stated “…they’re 18-22 males. They’re discovering themselves just like all these other college-age people.” Wow, do I need to say anything else. If it were my adult-child being suspended, my reaction would be completely different.… Read more »

Steve Nolan

I mean, pretending that the military doesn’t cover stuff up is a bit much.


Do you think they flew to GTMO

Everyone Knows

Sounds like a lot of hate for a force that protects your freedom to say you hate the military.


It has nothing to do with Hate; it has to do with MORALITY. Shame on you for trying to change the issue.

Everyone Knows

Wasn’t responding to you Joe but thanks for your input

Steve Nolan

We haven’t had a war to “protect our freedoms” since the 1940s.

Random guy who fights wars on your behalf

The fighting we do over seas is so we don’t have to fight in your kitchen.


I agree with you; it is probably hazing or closely related; if it is “how ignorant can the coaches and cadets be? How can a coach lose control of his or her team, and where is the captains? it appears the quality of cadet at all military academies has decreased dramatically. They act like middle school kids. They need to fix the culture; over the last year, it seems someone is finally taking charge at the Air Force Academy and now Brown University too. Did you read what they had freshman do — vandalize Home’s; how stupid can upper class men be? However, it is nice to see school officials do the right thing — because it is the right… Read more »


Joe – It may not quite be ‘hate’ but look in the mirror; your obvious intense dislike of the entire military culture is both clear and sad. The Academies maintain very high standards and try to incorporate such concepts as honor and accountability on a daily basis but with thousands of cadets, et al, comprised of college age people, is it any wonder some fall short? You’re quick to generalize and criticize, but I suspect you’d be just as quick to let those same people protect your rights and lifestyle.


Oh and I’m sure it’s just the service academies. That’s hilarious. No matter what happened don’t try to spin this to mean that the over arching problem is with, and only with, the people laying down their lives for this country.

Military son

That’s really irrelevant to this discussion as hardly any of the cadets at the academies will “lay down their life” the majority of people on front lines are enlisted and once you graduate from an academy you’re given the status of officer.

You Haven´t Ever Served, Have You?


Yes, they do. Some of them were swimmers just like you and I. Think, then post.


Bravo Air Force officials! It is good to see that school officials still do the right thing and place morality over winning.. Whatever it is; it must be serious; I agree with comments below — probably hazing —and if yes, then those individuals should NOT be at the Air Force Academy. Let them go somewhere else where they can act like middle-school children. We need strong moral leadership in all sports — and especially in our country.

Reply to Joe

You should not speculate about what happened until all the facts come out. You have no idea what happened and people like you make this worse than it needs to be.


I am not speculating; I apologize if I did not make myself clear. Allow me to clarify. If eleven (11) AF athletes were suspended at a champion swim meet, then it can only be a moral-related violation. Logically, they were NOT removed because they were sick or for academic suspension. It had to be a serious moral, military, or NCAA violation. Everyone I have talked to in the swimming world (some high-powered NCAA FARs and coaches) praised AF school officials for sending a message throughout all NCAA D-1 sports. Over time, every university has to step up to the plate and make a course correction. Brown University and the Air Force Academy are stepping up to the plate this week… Read more »


So it it obvious. You have no clue because you are speculating on what the suspension is about. I have no connection to the team but I do have a connection to USAFA. However, based your comments, time, energy and “every one You have talked to in the swimming world” you have an obvious emotional investment in seeing USAFA get a black eye. The Acadmies hold their students to a much higher standard than other schools. Behavior that most schools would not even look at is scrutinized at USAFA. I got one will wait to hear an official finding from before making broad declarations. Better to keep my mouth shut and and thought a fool than open it and remove… Read more »


With all due respect, your statement is NOT a true statement; I praise all school officials who do the right thing. If you read earlier, I praised Brown University officials too. It is about teaching young men and women about real LEADERSHIP. It is about ethical and moral judgment— not a black eye. Sir or ma’am, it is disappointing that an adult would equate leadership and morality to “a black eye”, Standard NCAA procedures for athletic suspension are (1) establish “probable cause” (2) obtain legal advice, and (3) confirm evidence with NCAA FAR. Those are the basic steps. Finally, I have the utmost respect for all military academies; my family history would reflect it; however, this is about teaching one… Read more »


The military academies typically govern their athletic departments with standards that are more stringent than the NCAA including grades and behavior. They have their own process and it is reckless to assume what has or has not occurred. You are making statements about the quality of cadets, not letting them wash your dog, that the coaches lost the team. Your statements and assumptions demonstrate your level of emotional investment. Makes me wonder if you are making accusations against this team.


It is about the NCAA suspensions that result from improper behavior — not a team. I swam D-1 now an airline pilot. I fly with former military guys all day; they all say the same thing. AF does not put up with bad behavior, period.


Hey Joe where are your praise and comments on the Amherst team?…yeah, I didn’t think so. It does not take any CRITICAL THINKING, to see who you are and your bias to toward Air Force.


Joe please explain the situation and how they got it right. If you can’t explain the situation and how they got it right then you are only sounding off because you have an obvious bias against AF and our service academies. Read the press release. It states they are under investigation. IE no formal findings yet.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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