AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The superintendent of the Air Force Academy took the blame Saturday for 70 freshman cadets who were allegedly caught cheating on an online test earlier this month.
Lt. Gen. John Rosa told the academy's Board of Visitors that he never should have allowed an unsupervised test to be conducted online, knowing that experts say large numbers of students have admitted to cheating sometime in high school.
Some of the cadets may be expelled but others may be given six months' probation, Rosa said. Because the test-takers were freshmen and were new to the honor system, they may be given some leeway, he said.
Air Force Secretary James Roche said Rosa had his full support in dealing with the cheating, but he said all 70 cadets or more, if necessary, could be expelled if that was necessary to preserve the honor code.
"This is something I am very saddened by ... sort of like a punch in the stomach," Roche said.
Six cadets have resigned, including three who admitted cheating on the test known as the "props and wings," which focuses largely on military etiquette, pay and other issues. Officials realized there was a problem with the test when some cadets finished the 25-question exam in three minutes.
"The trick is to rehabilitate them from some of their previous thinking," said Jim Gilmore, chairman of the board and a former governor of Virginia. "I don't think the board's view is to chop all the heads off."