USAF football: From Lord's Prayer to serial date rape in three years
The Air Force Academy was once the friendliest of all the military academies toward Christianity. With the approval of team captains, legendary coach Fisher DeBerry once hung a banner in the football team’s locker room which had the motto of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes emblazoned on it. It included, in part, the following: “I am a Christian first and last...I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.”
Players remember warmly the tradition of putting their arms around each other and reciting the Lord’s Prayer in unison before taking the field.
But it wasn’t long before atheist Mikey Weinstein filed a virulently anti-Christian lawsuit against DeBerry and the school, despite the fact that no evidence was produced that DeBerry ever discriminated against anyone based on his religious beliefs or made any effort to impose his religious beliefs on anyone.
No matter. It wasn’t long before the anti-Christ crusade of Weinstein and a run of subpar seasons led to DeBerry being run out of the academy in early 2007. When DeBerry left, he took his faith with him and the spirit of Christianity left the football team and the locker room along with him.
Now according to Fox News, the Academy is awash in scandal, centered around football players who are credibly accused of rape, drug use and cheating. DeBerry is forced out in 2007, and scandal rears its ugly head just three years later. Coincidence? I think not.
Air Force Academy athletes, including football players, participated in wild off-campus parties featuring booze, marijuana, and date-rape drugs, according to an investigative report.
The report by the Colorado Springs Gazette, based in part on Freedom of Information Act documents, stated that "cadet athletes flouted the sacred honor code by committing sexual assaults, taking drugs, cheating and engaging in other misconduct at wild parties while the service academy focused on winning bowl games and attracting money from alumni and private sources in recent years."
The parties dating back to 2010 included "a core group of top football players" who allegedly smoked synthetic marijuana, drank heavily and used date-rape drugs to incapacitate women who were then sexually abused, the Gazette report said.
The behavior at the parties was so out of control that the Academy canceled a planned sting operation in 2012 because of concerns that undercover agents would not be able to protect the women in attendance, the Gazette said...
Academy investigations eventually implicated 32 cadets, including 16 football players and several other athletes...
In January, the Defense Department released a report stating that more than two-thirds of the sexual assaults reported at the military academies in academic year 2012-13 occurred at the Air Force Academy.
Now the USAF is hip deep in a desperate, fevered attempt “to ensure all cadet-athletes are living up to the Air Force's core values,” in the words of the Academy's Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson. In other words, they are trying to bring back the values of character and integrity they drove from the athletic program when they drove Fisher DeBerry into exile.
What happened here is no secret to those who know the Scriptures. Jesus said that his disciples, Fisher DeBerry included, are the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” Salt was used in the first century to arrest the spread of decay and corruption. In the absence of refrigeration, it was the only way to preserve certain food products. When salt is removed, corruption sets in.
When the light of the world is removed, the world - including the locker rooms of football teams - is plunged into moral and spiritual darkness.
Bottom line: there is a solution to the Air Force Academy’s problems. Remove the cause - Mikey Weinstein and his atheistic trouble-making - and find another coach like Fisher DeBerry and turn him loose to bring the spirit of Christ back to the Academy.
I can flat out guarantee you that rapes will diminish, drug use will diminish, and cheating on tests will diminish. And the Academy will regain some of its lost luster. Your move, Air Force.