NFL hopeful Jalen Robinette removed from Air Force graduation

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Jalen Robinette’s unusual final month as an Air Force Academy cadet has taken another strange turn.

Robinette, a wide receiver who found out just before the NFL draft that a policy change would force him into active duty after graduating rather than letting him play in the NFL, has been removed from the Academy’s graduation ceremony today.

“Cadet Robinette was removed from the graduation lineup after academy leadership became aware of information that called into question Cadet Robinette’s eligibility/qualification to graduate and commission,” the Air Force Academy said in a statement. “Cadet Robinette’s graduation and commissioning will be placed on hold while we further evaluate. Due to privacy-related concerns, we are unable to comment on the circumstances. We can say that the circumstances do not involve any allegations of criminal wrongdoing and are unrelated to Cadet Robinette’s professional football pursuits.”

Robinette had been viewed as a late-round prospect but went undrafted after the Air Force announced that he would not be allowed out of active duty until 2019. He went to the Bills’ rookie minicamp as a tryout player two weeks ago.

27 responses to “NFL hopeful Jalen Robinette removed from Air Force graduation

  1. No criminal wrongdoing and nothing to do with his NFL pursuits. Not a good look from Air Force to do this, unless it’s really something important.

    But it’s the military (who screws up a hella lot) so I think it’s probably not.

  2. Sounds like that trip to Bills minicamp was taken by the brass as a jab in the eye. And if you’re a low man like a cadet or a private you just don’t mess with the brass. It’s a lesson he’ll remember as he’s spooning up chow in a mess hall the next two years.

  3. medialovesthecowboys says:
    May 24, 2017 4:02 PM
    No criminal wrongdoing and nothing to do with his NFL pursuits. Not a good look from Air Force to do this, unless it’s really something important.

    But it’s the military (who screws up a hella lot) so I think it’s probably not.


    There’s a simple solution if you have dreams or plans of playing a professional sport then don’t go to a service academy. When you choose to go to a service academy then you know what to expect after you graduate.

  4. Wow..readers are so uneducated,,,here is the deal!!! If he graduates he owes the us air Force 6 yrs of service unless they Grant him a waiver..which they said is NOT going to happen. BUT,,if he fails to graduate by failing grades or finals, he can be dismissed for poor academic performance, and have to repay like 120,000 in tution etc…but be able to play in the NFL…YOU FIGURE IT OUT

  5. He probably punched that guy who makes all the funny noises with his mouth.

    …wait….that’s POLICE academy….never mind.

  6. It sounds (to me) like he has deliberately sabotaged his Air Force career so the Academy will have no choice but to release him. Normally when that happens, the cadet is still required to serve, but as an enlisted airman rather than as an officer for a certain period of time. If he did this deliberately, the message he sends is loud and clear. He has no sense of honor or any measurable moral compass. He see dollar signs from the NFL and that’s as far as his vision goes. He doesn’t see long term or life after football (assuming he doesn’t blow a knee in the first pre-season game and his career ends right there, which would really screw up his life). I’m not sure I’d want a man like that leading troops into any situation that required honorable action. He should more concerned with his character than his reputation, because character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

  7. @ fhvned says:
    May 24, 2017 4:58 PM

    It sounds (to me) like he has deliberately sabotaged his Air Force career so the Academy will have no choice but to release him.
    It sounds to me like you shouldn’t jump to conclusions…

  8. A service academy not aware of a cadet’s requirements after four years. I can’t believe that. You just don’t show up at the academies, you are appointed to attend and the record keeping is meticulous. I know the Air Force hoses up a lot of things but the academic records of a guy who has spent nearly 4 years in a controlled military environment are suddenly in question? Heck, even active duty gets their current training checked every 30-90 days. I’ll raise the BS flag on this one.

  9. If they pull a guy out of graduation for something that is not criminal or related to football, but could stop his graduation and commissioning, an honor code violation is the first thing that comes to mind. They take that pretty seriously at the AFA. Maybe he cheated on a test. Who knows…

  10. It used to be that an ROTC cadet could go to the Reserves for a 6 year commitment instead of going full-time. Maybe this is no longer the case…if anything, just make him go to the Reserves and for a longer period of time or make him pay back his scholarship + penalty of wasting a spot that could have been used for someone else. Or a combination of going to the Reserves and paying money back. This isn’t that hard, but…it’s bureaucrats.

  11. If they went to those measures could be an honor code violation, hopefully not.

    Also, unless they changed it, once you stay in past two years you still have a service commitment whether you finish the academy or not. Better to finish, be an officer, and see if something changes down the line re: NFL.

  12. If this kid gets to eventually play in the NFL he will be a force to reckon with… 6-3, 220lbs, long arms, huge hands and is very physical. If he gets his route running issues under control he could be a very good player. Robinette has an extremely high ceiling, so he is worth the gamble.

  13. All i know is he is committed to the time: do the crime pay with time. So he got nuttin going for him other than he is committed to serve the time.

  14. He made his choice 4 years ago. It’s a bit late to try and change it now.

  15. there isn’t a draft in this country anymore so no one can be drafted, not just him.

  16. Could be an honor code violation, got caught drinking in the barracks, or fraternizing with a female. Best case he’s a December grad. Worst case he’s serving out his service commitment as an enlisted man.

  17. It would be a nice gesture to withhold judgement and not convict the youn man. The guy gave 4 years of service to our military and will be certainly continuing to serve our country in some years to come.

  18. I think I read there was a policy of allowing graduates to play professional sports and serve their military obligation in the reserves. This policy was recently changed but, well after his signing on. Probably s/b grandfathered and new recruits be subject to the new regs. Ex-post-facto??

  19. This is nothing more than a young man welching on his commitment to the Air Force and the nation in order to get a bigger paycheck, he is not someone with a large amount of integrity or character.

  20. ppletr: No such policy ever existed. Each department has always made it clear that every decision will be made based on the needs of the service and that precedent may not be relied upon. It’s the three Secretaries who make the decisions, not the uniforms. As it is, opinions differ as to the wisdom of allowing any deviance from the service commitment, on both the civilian and uniformed sides of the Services.

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