(U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.) — The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) has released a statement following the NCAA’s release of its report on the Academy’s recruiting violations that took place during the COVID-19 “dead period.”

The full report was released on Friday, March 10, and delineates the actions of a former assistant coach for the Air Force Falcons’ football team who arranged “impermissible visits” during the COVID-19 dead period.

A release by the NCAA states that the assistant coach also violated ethical conduct rules when he provided false or misleading information during the enforcement investigation and encouraged prospects to do the same. 

USAFA self-reported the violations at the time of their discovery, in February of 2021, to the NCAA, after USAFA said compliance staff within the Academy Athletic Department discovered visit irregularities as part of their standard monitoring, and conducted appropriate fact-finding in advance of reporting to NCAA Enforcement staff.

USAFA then reached an agreement with NCAA enforcement staff on appropriate penalties. USAFA said the Academy terminated employment for the three civilian assistant coaches and reassigned the military coach to an administrative position and fully cooperated with the NCAA.

Following the release of the report on Friday, the Air Force Academy released a statement:

“The U.S. Air Force Academy held steadfast to our core values and beliefs throughout this process and are grateful to bring this matter to conclusion. Beginning with self-reporting the violations, we have worked collaboratively with the NCAA Enforcement staff and Committee on Infractions on our negotiated resolution to ensure that those individuals responsible for the violations were identified and held accountable and that the Academy took full responsibility as an institution. We also worked with the NCAA to ensure the penalties were significant and commensurate with the violations. While the release of the full report and its details is disappointing and not in keeping with our expectations, we are confident that our football program will do better moving forward.”

USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark and Director of Athletics Nathan Pine

The Academy noted that, until this first self-reported major violation, the Academy had never had a level one or level two violation. According to NCAA bylaws, a history of self-monitoring and self-reporting violations is a sign of a healthy compliance and rules monitoring program, USAFA said.