More than 70 cadets at US Military Academy accused of cheating on online math exam

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More than 70 cadets from the U.S. Military Academy to be Army officers have been accused of cheating on an online calculus exam.

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Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt, a spokesman for the academy at West Point, said on Monday that 73 cadets were accused of cheating in May after instructors noticed irregularities in answers. All but one were freshmen, or plebes, in a class of 1,200. The other was a sophomore.

FILE: President Donald Trump, left, and the United States Military Academy superintendent Darryl A. Williams, right, salute graduating cadets as the national anthem is played during commencement ceremonies in West Point, N.Y.  (AP)

"West Point honor code and character development program remains strong despite remote learning and the challenges brought by the pandemic," Ophardt said. "Cadets are being held accountable for breaking the code."


After an investigation by an honors committee made up of trained cadets, two cases were dropped for lack of evidence and four were dropped because the cadets resigned, Ophardt said. Of the remaining 67 cases, 55 cadets have admitted cheating and have been enrolled in a six-month rehabilitation program focused on ethics. They will be on probation for the rest of their time at the academy. Three more cadets admitted cheating but weren't eligible for the rehabilitation program.

The remaining cadets accused of cheating face administrative hearings to determine if they've violated the honor code and recommend penalties, which could include expulsion.


The cheating scandal is the biggest at West Point since 1976, when 153 cadets resigned or were expelled for cheating on an electrical engineering exam. The 1976 case is considered more serious, Ophardt said, because it was upperclassmen who planned, collaborated and executed the cheating. "The whole system broke down," Ophardt said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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