The latest scandal to hit college football is this article outlining how The U. S. Military Academy at West Point sought out their own women’s volleyball and basketball players to act as “dinner dates” for recruits as they came to visit to show these future football stars, in the words of Lt Col Chad Davis, “We want recruits to see that there are pretty girls that go here,” and “There are not just masculine women that attend West Point.” And that is what they did. After these staged dinner dates, they loaded the recruits up on a bus with no supervision, sent them away to Palisades Mall on a bus complete with cheerleaders who “made out” with each other for their entertainment.
Of course bottomless beer was provided for all at a local bowling alley known to serve underage patrons (the recruits are 17 or 18). Thus, a good time was had by all and maybe, just maybe, Army can beat Navy next year, as that seems to be more important than overcoming the rape culture that exists in our military academies and among our servicemen and women.
After all, if this is how our future colonels and generals begin their military careers, how do we expect them to lead 20 years later? Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about this entire incident is that no coach lost his job over such a dishonorable and shameful ploy at our nation’s most prestigious military academy.
I want to say I am not shocked by all of this, but I am. What I mean is that I have come to expect this kind of perverted objectification of women as nothing more than recruiting tools at the Florida State’s of our world. After all, if a young lady accuses a football player of rape in that program she gets nothing more than a botched investigation and a sly wink of the eye from local police, along with a student disciplinary hearing over 2 years later (after the playoffs, I am sure) if you go through the pain of national exposure and hiring an attorney. I even expect it out of the NFL, which has winked and wrist slapped over sexual and domestic violence for decades, though it is now being forced to act differently after the shameful handling of the Ray Rice case. But I held out hope that at West Point, the most disciplined and honorable institution in our land, the standard would be different. I held out hope that at West Point we were more interested in taking our nation’s best and brightest and preparing them to lead us against dangerous enemies, both foreign and domestic, that literally want to destroy our way of life (think ISIS, Iran, Pakistan, etc). I held out hope that at West Point they could recruit athletes to their institution based on the honor and prestige of the Academy itself, without resorting to beer and strip club environments to entice 17 year old boys. I guess I held out hope that the leaders of West Point would value the future strength and dignity of our nation more than they honor beating Navy in a boyish game played with a piece of pigskin. Based on the undisclosed minor punishments handed out to all the cadets and the continued employment of the coaches involved, I guess I was wrong. It seems as though nothing is so sacred that it can’t be sacrificed to win the big game, including the future of our national leadership.