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Air Force coach Troy Calhoun comments on pro policy change, Jalen Robinette's situation

Air Force football coach Troy Calhoun on the sidelines in November, 2016.

JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

By BRENT BRIGGEMAN | The Gazette (Tribune News Service) | Published: July 13, 2017

Speaking publicly for the first time about a policy change from the Department of Defense that thwarted the immediate professional aspirations of several Air Force athletes, football coach Troy Calhoun was predictably noncontroversial.

“We’re just not reactionary people,” Calhoun said. “We’re going to continue to work. Where we’re fortunate is being able to guide young people on the value of values and the education and being able to serve. That’s why they came to the Air Force Academy.”

After allowing athletes to serve on reserves immediately after graduation in a policy that lasted only a year, the military reverted to its previous standard of requiring at least two years on active duty before grads could apply to switch status.

Some athletes impacted by the rules change didn't share Calhoun's low-key appraisal of the situation.

Football player Weston Steelhammer said he was “shocked.” Another athlete, in a message to The Gazette summarizing his options, worded it by saying, “if everything goes to (expletive) and I serve two years …”

Calhoun also had little to say about the undisclosed disciplinary issue that has kept star wide receiver Jalen Robinette from graduating. An Air Force official told The Gazette in June that Robinette’s case will be decided at the academy by the superintendent and commandant, but little else has been revealed.

“You’ve got to meet all qualifications,” Calhoun said. “That’s what makes it a pretty awesome school is you don’t walk across the stage in the spring just because you want to walk across the stage. It’s something that has to be met and has to be earned. That’s what makes it a special, special place.”

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©2017 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
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