West Point superintendent Robert Caslen said he plans on reviewing six Army football studies, which were done in the last 20 years, to see what suggestions were or weren’t made to change the program’s fortunes.
Caslen doesn’t need to read a study to know what needs immediate attention.
Summer military training.
“If you look at the average university, their players go into summer training and they get bigger, stronger and better conditioned,” Caslen said. “Our football players go out in the field for a month at a time. They sleep on the ground. They don’t eat right. They get only four hours of sleep a night, if that. Instead of getting bigger and stronger, our guys are decreasing only to come back for about three to four weeks at the end of the summer to try to get back up to where they were before. This is one area we need to pay attention.”
Caslen said he is not looking to compromise West Point’s standards and values.
Football players are cadets first. Like any other member of the Corps of Cadets, they must spend three to four weeks at Camp Buckner their sophomore summer and return back to Buckner and participate in patrols going into senior year in order to graduate.
Caslen is investigating a possible change in the military training schedule. Caslen’s suggestion is for returning cadets to begin their training at the end of May right after West Point’s graduation.
“If we can sequence some of this so we can take advantage of the summer,” Caslen said. “They can do their summer training right away so we are not forfeiting a graduation requirement. We are still meeting a graduation requirement. Then right after the summer training, they go into a summer school program, particularly the ones that have the ability to take advantage of that. In the summer school program, they can that will help them in the fall semester and they can also lift during that time. Then for the last two or three weeks of summer camp, they can come back again as they have normally been doing in accordance with NCAA regulations and they train amongst themselves and lift. We collaspe that all in the beginning and take the rest of the summer to our advantage.”