February 20, 2019

U.S. Air Force Academy Plans Ombuds for Athletics

In testimony before a Congressional subcommittee last week, Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria detailed several initiatives to tackle sexual assault, sexual harassment, and culture- and climate-related issues at the school in Colorado Springs. These plans include an Ombuds for the USAFA's athletics department.

In his written testimony, Silveria said:
... We must refine and reinforce where we are progressing, and reexamine and improve
where we are lacking. Along those lines of effort, we currently have plans to implement several of the suggested changes identified by Collegiate Sports Associates:

  • An ombudsperson will be assigned and trained within the Athletics Department as a resource for all staff and cadet-athletes. We will ensure that cadet-athletes and staff are aware of this resource as well as the many other resources available at the Academy.
No further details have been published, but it should be noted that all cadets at the Academy take part in the school's extensive athletic program. Therefore, the proposed program would be a de factor Student Ombuds also available to some staff. (Silveria Statement; Air Force Magazine.)


  1. All cadets must participate in athletics, but only a small percentage compete in intercollegiate athletics. Perhaps the ombuds charter would extend beyond intercollegiate athletes, but "cadet athletes" usually means intercollegiate athletes. And even with a broader interpretation, it might be difficult for the Athletic Dept ombuds to get involved when issues stem from faculty or Honor Code enforcement not related to sports.