UPDATE #2: Per a source, the investigation officially ended about two weeks ago. There are 12 players out of the 23 total seniors and juniors that are still suspended, along with head coach Eric Seremet. 11 players have been reinstated, down from the 15 we said earlier. That correction has been made in the story below.
UPDATE #1: Academy spokesman Meade Warthen gave us this statement from the Air Force. The Academy did confirm that the investigation is over and some members of the team have been reinstated:
The investigation has been completed and some members of the team have been reinstated. USAF Academy leadership, in consultation with its attorneys, are in the process of evaluating the status of the others involved in the investigation. Due to the Privacy Act we cannot discuss any personnel actions concerning any of the coaches or players.
Back in October, news came out about an investigation surrounding the Air Force men’s lacrosse team involving hazing, bullying, abusive sexual contact, and drug use at the academy. A little over a week later, players and coaches were suspended indefinitely. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy noted that players from the senior and junior classes were suspended, while the freshmen and sophomores could practice informally.
The situation in Colorado Springs might be coming to an end. We saw hints of it earlier in the week regarding the end of the investigation and that most of the players and coaches that were suspended had been reinstated prior to the holiday break.
Specifically, per another source, assistant coaches Bill Wilson and Dan Carson have returned to the program after their suspension lasted a little over a month.
Also returning are 11 juniors and seniors that were suspended last month. Players and coaches were reinstated by Air Force Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria and Athletic Director Jim Knowlton. It’s unknown who was reinstated and who wasn’t, as there’s a total of 23 seniors and juniors altogether.
However, the news is not certain for head coach Eric Seremet. The nine-year head coach is still under suspension, according to the source, and a decision on his future could happen in the near future.
Although communication between coaches and players is not very strong, the possibility of not playing in the upcoming spring season has not been discussed.
We have reached out to the Air Force Academy’s Public Affairs office for comment on the situation as well. A spokesperson said they are working to get details from the investigation.
The Falcons were one of two teams that had their nontraditional fall season derailed, with the other team being the Syracuse Orange due to an outbreak of the mumps. Unlike the Orange, Air Force was able to participate in scrimmages against the University of Tokyo and four Colorado-based teams, including Colorado State of the MCLA.
If the Falcons decide to go in a different direction, they could name Wilson as the interim head coach. He’s the team’s top assistant coach.
They could also decide to bring back former head coach Fred Acee for one year before naming a permanent replacement. Acee, who’s currently the team’s Director of Operations, coached the Falcons from 1998-2008 with a record of 350-223-1 before Seremet took over. He became the team’s Director of Operations in 2009 before returning to the field as a volunteer assistant in 2010 until 2016, when he returned to his role as Director of Operations. However, the IMLCA Hall of Famer is in his mid-70s, so he might not be considered at all if Seremet is even let go.
We’ll update you with any new information from the ongoing situation in Colorado Springs, including an official statement from the Academy if we get one.