RELEASE NO. 01-17The Department of the Army and the Army West Point Athletics Association have officially entered into a cooperative agreement that allows the AWPAA to provide support to the intercollegiate athletics program at the U.S. Military Academy.The result of this agreement will be a more agile athletics program that fully supports the mission of the U.S. Military Academy and more than 1,000 cadet athletes competing across 30 intercollegiate sports."We're thankful to Congress and the Secretary of the Army for making this possible," said U.S. Military Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen. "This change will result in an even greater opportunity to develop our cadet athletes into leaders of character for the defense of our nation."The AWPAA is a non-profit organization approved under IRS Code 501(c)(3)."The AWPAA allows us to manage our program similar to other Division I institutions, including our sister academies. This agreement will provide our cadet-athletes the support and facilities required to succeed both as cadets and elite intercollegiate athletes," said Boo Corrigan, director of athletics. "We still have a great deal of work to complete as we move through this transition, but we are excited about the challenges that lie ahead. The AWPAA will help us to foster an environment in which our cadet-athletes routinely achieve the upper-most limits of their potential both in the Corps and on the 'friendly fields of strife.'"The AWPAA, as a 501(c)(3) organization, has the ability to manage personnel actions, negotiate contracts, engage in sponsorship opportunities and oversee the athletic facilities. Additionally, the agreement ensures the AWPAA remains compliant with auditing and accountability requirements, NCAA rules and regulations and, most importantly, academy standards and mission.The process will appear transparent to most, but will provide a level of flexibility that will provide an extraordinary Division I athletics experience that develops leaders of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country.The West Point Association of Graduates will work closely with AWPAA to collaborate and develop opportunities to promote Margin of Excellence Programs."The West Point Association of Graduates is proud to continue supporting West Point and the athletics program," said Todd Browne, WPAOG president and CEO. "Our partnership with the new AWPAA will maintain the successful collaboration that has been in place with respect to securing gifts for Army Athletics facilities and teams."The AWPAA is authorized by federal law, will provide support on a reimbursable basis and is scheduled to be fully operational in 2018.