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Academy suspends starting QB

Sep. 26, 2013 - 08:38PM   |  
JALEEL AWINI
Air Force Falcons quarterback Jaleel Awini has been suspended from the team for unspecified reasons, the academy said Sept. 25. (Mark Reis / The Associated Press)
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The Air Force Academy’s starting quarterback, Jaleel Awini, has been suspended from the team, the academy said Sept. 25.

Awini is no longer a cadet in good standing, the academy said in a news release. Academy spokesman John Van Winkle said the sophomore quarterback can still practice with the Falcons, but cannot represent the academy by suiting up with the football team or being on the sidelines during a game. Awini, from Aurora, Colo., also is not allowed to leave the academy, Van Winkle said.

Van Winkle would not say what Awini allegedly did to fall out of good standing. Officer candidates lose their privileges if they fail to meet academic, physical fitness, military or honor standards, he said.

It is not clear whether Awini is under investigation or if he faces disciplinary action. Van Winkle would not say whether Awini faces expulsion. He also would not say what the next step would be because it would identify the process, though he did say it could take months to resolve the case.

“Holding each cadet to these high standards promotes good order and discipline throughout the institution,” the academy said in its release.

Awini is still enrolled in the academy, attending classes and engaging in military activities, Van Winkle said. Awini became the Falcons’ starting quarterback after original starter Kale Pearson was sidelined with a knee injury Aug. 31 during this season’s first game against Colgate University. Awini took over for Pearson and extended the Falcons’ lead, resulting in a 38-13 win. But the Falcons were blown out in each of the following three games, which Awini started. The Air Force Academy lost to Utah State University, 52-20, Boise State University, 42-20, and the University of Wyoming, 56-23. In four games, Awini has rushed for four touchdowns and completed 50 percent of passes.

— Stephen Losey

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