Air Force Academy asking coaches to help reduce sexual assaults by talking with athletes

Air Force Academy leaders are asking coaches to take a bigger role in preventing sexual assaults by talking with athletes about the issue.

Commanders also said Wednesday they expect an upcoming review of the athletic department to show whether it has a "negative culture," a term the service often uses to describe an atmosphere conducive to sexual abuse.

The academy was responding to recent allegations that athletes got special treatment. Officials deny the claims.

Officials say Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the academy superintendent, ordered the school's inspector general in July to review the athletic department, including its culture.

Johnson said she met with coaches twice over the past year about her expectations. She said coaches hadn't been fully involved in what she called the "broader conservation" about the school's standards.