Dec 15, 2019

Trump touts at Army-Navy game pro sports policy for military athletes

 President Donald Trump speaks with Navy players in the locker room before the Army v. Navy American Football game in Philadelphia on December 14

President Trump speaks in the Navy locker room before Saturday's Army vs. Navy football game in Philadelphia, Dec. 14. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper touted during an appearance at an Army-Navy football game Saturday a new administration policy that makes it easier for military academy athletes to go pro.

Driving the news: Trump announced in June plans to enable student-athletes graduating from the academies and ROTC to "play professional sports before fulfilling their two-year active-duty military requirement," per Reuters.

  • Under the policy outlined last month, athletes must "get approval from the Pentagon chief" and "fulfill their military obligation or repay the costs of their education," AP notes.

Worth noting: In 2017, the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era policy allowing military service academy and ROTC athletes to be recruited directly into professional sports.

Game result: The Navy won the 120th playing of the game in Philadelphia 31-7, the New York Times reports.

Editor's note: This piece has been corrected to show that the new rule will allow student-athletes to play professional sports before fulfilling their military requirement (not delay professional sports).

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