Ten quick hits’ worth of military-related sports news before Congress tries to make all the academy football teams wear the same uniform (non-football news after the jump):
1. Bobsled-bound? Option quarterbacks need to be versatile, but former Army signal-caller Trent Steelman is taking things to a new level. Already under contract with the Baltimore Ravens, Steelman’s now in the running for a spot on the U.S. Olympic bobsled team, according to Army football guru Sal Interdonato. Steelman’s father told Interdonato that the Army officer performed well in the U.S. Bobsled Combine recently and will be participating in further qualifying events starting in July. It’s an unusual sports shift, but not an unprecedented one.
2. Academy departure, Part I. Interdonato also reports Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires, second on the team with 88 tackles as a freshman last season, is no longer enrolled at West Point. Listed as a linebacker, he started most of the season at free safety but did not practice this spring because of academic issues, Interdonato reported.
3. Academy departure, Part II. Danny Ring, who started three games at nose tackle as a sophomore for Navy last season, has withdrawn from the academy, reports Bill Wagner at The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital. Ring had 17 tackles and was atop the depth chart entering 2013.
4. More football. From our mothership, a look at an Army-Navy arena football exhibition set for June 22 in Philadelphia. The game’s designed to raise awareness for veterans employment and will feature some former service academy stars, including former Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs. More details here.
5. More Dobbs. When he wasn’t busy with duties aboard the destroyer Oscar Austin, Dobbs took some snaps, and kicked some extra points, for the Virginia Cyclones, a semi-pro team based out of Norfolk with heavy military representation — at least one player from each service. The Cyclones reached their league final before a loss ended their season earlier this month. Click here for details.
6. Carrier Classic coda. An excellent roundup of the end of the basketball-on-warships craze by Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports. Short version: There are no games set for carriers or amphibious ships in 2013, and it’s getting too late in the year to expect any last-minute shipboard scheduling. No word yet about hockey.
7. New AFSC: Pit Crew. Airmen took part as honorary pit crew members at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race June 1 in Dover, Del. Get the official write-up here, and find the latest on the military-NASCAR relationship here, via The Washington Post. Big stat: In the report, a North Carolina congressman quotes a survey saying 9 in 10 Army National Guardsmen joining or re-enlisting since 2007 were exposed to the Guard by NASCAR or recruiting materials mentioning NASCAR. The National Guard is a primary sponsor for NASCAR’s most-popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
8. Harris’ new home. We’ve told you about former Naval Academy baseball standout Mitch Harris before. Now out of the service, he’s set to begin his pro baseball career as a pitcher with the short-season single-A State College (Pa.) Spikes, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Games begin Monday; follow the Spikes here.
9. Breaking military MMA update.
This has been your breaking military MMA update.
10. Rowing news. Sailors participating in Pacific Partnership 2013 aboard the amphibious dock landing ship Pearl Harbor challenged a Samoan high school to a longboat race last weekend. The Navy release didn’t include the result. This local news report explains why.