Jalen Robinette will graduate and be commissioned after all.
The former Air Force Academy football star whose eligibility to graduate was placed on hold in May after an unspecified incident has met all graduation requirements and will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the active duty Air Force, the school said Friday.
“Cadet Jalen Robinette was removed from the graduation lineup in May after leadership became aware of information that called into question Robinette’s eligibility to graduate and commission,” the Air Force Academy said in a statement to The Denver Post. “Robinette’s graduation and commissioning was placed on hold while his eligibility and qualifications were evaluated. As of 24 Aug. 17, he has met all graduation requirements and is scheduled to commission as a second lieutenant in the active duty Air Force.”
Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post broke the news.
As recently as April, Robinette was preparing for a career in the NFL. But in the days leading up to the NFL Draft, the Air Force announced that it would no longer allow its athletes to defer two years of active duty and immediately join a professional sports team after graduation. Robinette, the Falcon’s all-time leading receiver, wound up going undrafted. He was projected to be a late-round pick.
Hayden Graham, Robinette’s friend and a basketball player at the Air Force Academy, said that Robinette found out about the shift in policy on his way to an NFL Draft watch party in Denver.
“Obviously, he was probably internally a little bit distraught because he finds out on his big day,” Graham said in June. “Which, I mean, if I was in that position I would’ve been a little confused and distraught as well.”
In May, Robinette was one of nine senior cadets removed from the Air Force Academy graduation lineup. The Air Force said in a statement at the time that Robinette was “waiting a determination on a non-criminal disciplinary proceeding.”
That has now been resolved. Robinette won’t get to pursue a professional football career this year. He’ll get his degree from the Air Force Academy and continue on his path there, though.
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