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Air Force star WR Jalen Robinette meets requirements for graduation, commissioning

Air Force's Jalen Robinette, during a game against Army at West Point, N.Y., in November, 2016.

STARS AND STRIPES

By BRENT BRIGGEMAN | The Gazette (Tribune News Service) | Published: September 8, 2017

Jalen Robinette’s graduation is no longer on hold.

The Air Force Academy released a statement to The Gazette late Friday afternoon saying the program’s all-time leader in receiving yards “has met all graduation requirements and is scheduled to commission as a second lieutenant in the active duty Air Force.”

Robinette has remained at the academy since being pulled from the graduation lineup in May for what his agency called a “non-criminal disciplinary proceeding.”

The graduation delay came about a month after Robinette, who had expected to be taken in the NFL Draft, learned that the Department of Defense had made a last-minute change that would prevent service academy graduates from delaying active-duty service to play professional sports – reversing a policy that had been put in place the year before.

Robinette, from Bexley, Ohio, has attended several Air Force practices this year. He finished his Air Force career with 120 receptions for 2,697 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Robinette attended minicamp tryouts with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots after going undrafted.

A path to a professional career for the 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver is not closed, but will likely have to wait until he spends at least two years on active duty. This has been the route taken by current NFL player Ben Garland of the Atlanta Falcons as well as several others, including Air Force graduates Bryce Fisher and Steve Russ.

Had he not qualified for graduation and commission, Robinette could have been required to serve as an enlisted airman.

Robinette did not respond to messages from The Gazette on Friday.

Here's Air Force's full statement:

"Cadet Jalen Robinette was removed from the graduation lineup in May after leadership became aware of information that called into question Robinette's eligibility to graduate and commission. Robinette's graduation and commissioning was placed on hold while his eligibility and qualifications were evaluated. As of 24 Aug 17, he has met all graduation requirements and is scheduled to commission as a second lieutenant in the active duty Air Force."

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©2017 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
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