The Air Force Falcons defense has been subpar the past two seasons by finishing seventh and sixth in the Mountain West in total defense. The Falcons were to return three players from the defensive backfield, their entire defensive line and half of their linebacking corp.
That linebacking corp took a huge hit when the Falcons media guide did not list Justin Alabi, Reggie Barnes, Jared Jones and Steven Sumpte. A fifth linebacker, Jordan Pierce, was also not on the roster but he is still with the team.
Jones is unsure how he fell out of favor with the football team:
"To be honest with you I don't know what happened," Jones said last year of his drop in standing after returning from the injury. "I (ticked) off the wrong people, apparently."
Jones along with Barnes and Sumpte are still at the Academy but no longer with the football program. An Air Force spokesman told the Colorado Springs Gazette that their dismissal is "nothing scandalous," and could remain eligible for the football team, according to their cadet status with the school.
Jones was a key player on the defense last season with 40 tackles, including four tackles for a loss. While Barnes started 11 games, while racking up 32 tackles plus 2.5 tackles for a loss.
The one cadet that did leave Air Force was Alabi and he departed the program on June 14. Students at Air Force can leave freely prior to their junior year, because once they are in their third year at the school that kicks in their mandatory five-year post graduation commitment to the Air Force. Alabi, a freshman last year, was Barnes' backup and made three tackles in spot duty.
Perhaps some of these answers will be provided as to why these players are no longer part of the Air Force football at Mountain West media days which will featured head coach Troy Calhoun on Tuesday.