24 Air Force Academy Freshman Cadets Admit Cheating on Test

The Air Force Academy said Thursday that 24 freshman cadets have now admitted cheating on a test and 12 others are under investigation but have denied wrongdoing.

The school originally said 19 students had admitted cheating and nine others were under investigation.

Two-thirds of the cases involve athletes, Air Force Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker told The Gazette. The academy did not say what teams were involved.

The cheating occurred when cadets obtained answers to an upcoming test and forwarded them through an Internet social group and private computer messages, officials said.

The test was part of a weekly series of exams on general knowledge about the Air Force. The exams do not affect cadets' grade-point averages but are required for students to advance to their second year.

The cadet honor code forbids lying, stealing and cheating and tolerating anyone who does. Punishment for violating the code can include expulsion.

Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. John Regni restricted all 4,000 cadets to campus last weekend and closed the only bar on the site for what he called a "strategic pause" for cadets to reflect on the honor code.