Official Statements from USNA Athletic Dept.

Official Statements from USNA Athletic Dept.

In response to media inquiries regarding a story published on Jan. 28 that Navy slot back Marcus Curry tested positive for marijuana, the U.S. Naval Academy Athletic Association released two statements today – one by Chet Gladchuk and one by Ken Niumatalolo. An interview request to speak with Coach Niumatalolo about a broad range of issues surrounding the football program was "declined."

Here are the statements released by the Naval Academy:

 

Statement from Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk:

 

Clearly athletic coaches are charged to create a winning environment.  In addition, at the Naval Academy their foremost priority is to develop student-athletes who become leaders of character as we prepare midshipmen for the Fleet. 

 

We recruit every student-athlete, and over 1500 annually participate in 32 varsity sports, with the clear expectation that he or she will graduate and serve our nation as a commissioned officer.  Being an annual leader in Division I student-athlete graduation is testament to the Academy's success and ongoing commitment to educating and retaining at the highest rate in the nation.

 

Student-athletes at the Naval Academy are midshipmen first.  As members of the Brigade they are held morally, mentally and physically accountable for the decisions they make and actions they take.  In a handful of occasions, midshipmen who happen to be athletes have let down the Brigade and their teammates.  Unlike civilian institutions, the Academy judicial system reacts with a formal protocol and disciplinary actions are administered by the military chain of command.  There are no exceptions for anyone. Thousands of student-athletes, including hundreds in the sport of varsity football, have completed their mission in Annapolis in recent years with honor, courage and commitment.  The very few, who for whatever the reason missed the target, are the exception and no longer with us.  Regardless, their shortcomings cannot diminish what so many others have responsibly and honorably accomplished.   

 

Statement from Naval Academy Head Football Coach Ken Niumatalolo:

           

My staff and I respect the great honor that is ours to serve here at the United States Naval Academy.  The mission of the Naval Academy is clearly defined: "To develop midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities for command, citizenship, and government"  

We strongly support this mission in its entirety.  I started my service here in 1995.  Since that time, I have seen hundreds of football players honorably serve our country and fulfill the mission of the Naval Academy.  Silver Star recipient, Purple Heart recipients, and some have even paid the ultimate price of sacrifice for our country.  

These wonderful Americans won't make headlines and sell newspapers, they help keep us safe and protect our freedoms. Yes, a few have made mistakes, mistakes that we do not tolerate or condone.  These few incidents are not the norm; they are the exception. Despite the exceptions, we teach the pattern, we don't teach the exception.  The pattern for our success is to find great young Americans, who are academically advanced and who excel at the sport of football.  

Furthermore, the pattern calls for them to meet the demands of being a midshipman, a student, and a Division I football player.  In most cases the end product is a Navy or Marine officer that our country would be proud of.  In a few instances it doesn't work out, but that it the exception not the norm.  

Bowl victories and CIC Trophies are great accomplishments, but they pale in comparison to the importance of producing great Naval or Marine officers. I fully understand this and have worked tirelessly to accomplish this end goal.

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GoMids.com has been researching the controversy surrounding this topic since it broke including talking with the Naval Academy public affairs office, several other universities, NCAA drug testing officials and more. Due to the fact that over four feet of snow has hit the Annapolis area, as well as the set of circumstances surrounding the above statements, my comprehensive column about this topic has been delayed until early next week.

 

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