Published: October 4, 2013
Jaleel Awini has a history of falling ineligible for Air Force, but the circumstances were different the first time for the quarterback.
Troy Calhoun revealed on Monday that Awini could not play as a freshmen because he had signed with Colorado State and even attended a class there in June of 2012, just after Awini had finished at the prep school but before he had attended basic training.
"What he did was he was with Colorado State and they - their athletic director and coach - would not release him to allow him to play last year," Calhoun said.
Last week Awini, who had started three games in a row for the Falcons, lost his good standing as a cadet and with it lost the eligibility to represent the academy in athletic competitions.
He is still eligible to practice, but he has not been on the practice field or with the team since Sept. 23. He is, however, still at the school.
"Most of us seniors sat on the board, so we heard the decision," guard Moshood Adeniji said. "Instantly your heart drops."
Adeniji and Awini, both first-generation Americans from African families, had grown close. So much so that Awini's mother thanked Adeniji's parents at Parents' Weekend for Moshood taking on a big-brother role for Jaleel.
Adeniji said it wasn't a shared heritage that brought them close, but his affection for Awini as a friend.
"And just the fact that he wouldn't be at the school any more really hurt, because there's a chance of that," Adeniji said. "Hopefully it'll work out and he's able to stay because he's a really great guy.
He may have made his mistakes, but it just really hurts to see.
"He'll do great things wherever he's at."
When asked if he believed Awini would ever play for Air Force again, Calhoun responded, "time will tell."
The specific allegations were not made public, but players knew in advance that something was happening.
"I saw it coming two weeks before, then it died down, then it hit," linebacker Joey Nichol said. "Last week was a pretty big surprise for me."
It has been reported that six Air Force players were either suspended or dismissed from last year's team, and Calhoun mentioned Monday that three were now playing at Alcorn State, Charlotte and Wake Forest.
"I think any time you're dealing with 19 or 20-year-olds and it's over a prolonged period of time . it's going to be too difficult for some,"
Calhoun said. "If it's too difficult for you, you're not going to be part of our football team."
Awini was still following the team on Saturday as his replacement, Karson Roberts, ran for 161 yards and the Falcons lost 45-42 at Nevada.
"Tough game for my boys it tough not being out there... Proud of my boy Karson Roberts played his heart out tonight!!" Awini posted on Twitter.
Wide receiver Myles Barnes it out this week following a knee injury at Nevada. Calhoun said it hasn't been determined if the injury is to the ACL, meniscus or both. . Defensive back Chris Miller and Ty MacArthur are both doubtful with concussions. MacArthur has already missed two games with his injury. . Quarterback Kale Pearson will have surgery this week for the ACL tear he suffered in the first game.