Rabbit21

January 29th, 2017 at 5:19 PM ^

The first two years at the academy are awful. I didn't blame anyone for leaving and everyone there thought pretty hard about leaving at some point. While it would have been nice to get a lineman with size at Air Force. I also cannot imagine going through Basic at 290 lb.'s. Hope he does well at Michigan.

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Navy Wolverine

January 29th, 2017 at 8:10 PM ^

It's only your Freshman ("Doolie" - we call them Plebes at USNA) year that is really rough and football players are insulated from a lot of the challenges of being a Doolie. That being said, you have to want to go into the Air Force if you want to go the Air Force Academy. It's a very rewarding school with a great education that can lead you to some great opportunities. However, if you go there primarily to play football - even if it means you have a better chance of playing, you probably won't be happy.

Rabbit21

January 30th, 2017 at 9:58 AM ^

See I thought my sophomore year was harder than my freshman year.  You're no longer at attention everywhere you go and running from place to place, true, but it's not like the military side eases up that much, the classes generally get much harder and you have more of them than you did as a freshman.  And now there's no longer the rah-rah pride in your school type stuff they use to keep freshmen motivated and so max cyncicism sets in.  

I'm a grad, so I fell under the pluses greater than minuses side, but I don't know anyone there who didn't think seriously about leaving.   I also knew plenty of athlete's who only came to the academy to play D1 ball in their chosen sport and pretty much just stayed for the same reason and that they had made friends and built a life at the academy and thought leaving would be too much trouble.  Some ended up being career officers and some five and dived.  I find that attitudes as a cadet are generally poor predictors of attitudes about active duty.  

FYI Doolie hasn't been used since the 70's, the term cadets use is four degree's or freshmen(SMACKs was used for a little while, but I am not sure if it survived as it was always under fire from the officers and the same type of killjoy's that finally collected the "Bring me men" ramp as a scalp).  I'm not even sure how popular doolie was back in the day, just never had the same ring to it as plebe.  Another example of the Air Force trying to make it's own tradition and failing miserably.   

UM.is.my.home

January 29th, 2017 at 8:16 PM ^

I don't know how it is at USAFA, but at West Point, we resented the guys who played football during basic. Because the season was right around the corner, they were given preferential treatment in a lot of ways ... namely their ability to eat. Had it not been for the constant hunger, the first summer would have been much better. I don't think any of the football players would have said it was easy, but everyone knew that they got it a little bit easier there - especially the OL and DL players who simply couldn't afford to lose a lot of weight. 

 

Rabbit21

January 30th, 2017 at 10:07 AM ^

Keep in mind I went through BCT over twenty years ago so things may have changed, but back then they gave the recruited athletes supplements in the form of nutrition shakes, but beyond that they didn't get to eat any more than the others.  

I remember being hungry the first summer, but not to the point that I thought it overtook the other misery causers of Basic training.  

I'm more talking about the obstacle course stuff, the pushups, the running, etc.  I can see being able to handle it at around 250 if you're in shape, but anything more than that and I just see it as being a foundation for a rough summer.

As far as cadet life is concerned, I wouldn't say athlete's had it any easier.  After all they were completing all the demands of school while mixing in the burdens of practice and then on top of that their weekends were shot when you consider gamedays.  Something has to give and the choice the academy made as an institution was to ease up on the military demands a bit in return for a strengthened athletic side.  I always got a lot of crap for getting to wear my flight suit as a glider instructor, but then again my weekends were also shot and there were times I had to be down at the airfield by 4:30 am.  So it's a matter of tradeoffs and thats something that is hard to see when you're in neck deep in one area and see someone only up to their waist.  

GoWings2008

January 29th, 2017 at 6:46 PM ^

Happy for Michigan, not happy for my alma mater Air Force.  But great to hear he has the character to get an offer from a service academy...should be a great addition.