Lurid new details have emerged about questionable recruitment practices at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where prospective football recruits were taken by a VIP party bus to a bowling alley, offered drinks and watched as two cheerleaders made out with each other.
The school has acknowledged the claims, which were first outlined in a news article published by The Gazette of Colorado Springs Sunday.
Officials at West Point said the academy self-reported the recruitment violations to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, disciplined 20 cadets and reprimanded two officers, along with football coaches, for promoting underage drinking.
The wild, alcohol-soaked road trip took place back in January when 14 recruits boarded a party bus along with members of the football team and two cheerleaders, and headed down to the Palisades Mall in New York.
The bus — with a "club-like" atmosphere — made a pit stop at a bowling alley equipped with a bar, where the players and prospective recruits reportedly consumed large quantities of alcohol.
At some point during the trip, two cheerleaders began making out with one another, and also kissed a football player and one of the recruits.
In addition to the boozy ride, the NCAA learned from the internal report that cheerleaders and female cadets had been set up as "dinner dates'"for prospects — a claim that has been disputed by Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr.
West Point spokesman Theresa Brinkerhoff said the academy did not publicly detail the incident at the time because it was handled "administratively," the New York Daily News reported.
The players involved, among them Army starting quarterback Angel Santiago, are expected to play against the Air Force Academy at West Point's Michie Stadium on November 1.
The specific punishments for the officers, players and coaches have not been revealed, but no football players were kicked off the Army team, nor were any suspensions announced.
Brinkerhoff told the NCAA two members of the football staff had been removed from team activities for a week following the incident.