By Lolita c. Baldor / The Associated Press
WASHINGTON—Defense Secretary Mark Esper has opened the door for athletes at the nation’s military academies to play professional sports after they graduate, and delay their active-duty service.
Esper signed a memo last Friday laying out the new guidelines, which says the athletes must get approval from the defense secretary, and it requirea them to eventually fulfill their military obligation or repay the costs of their education.
The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, came at the insistence of President Donald Trump, who directed the Pentagon in June to come up with a way to allow athletes to play professional sports immediately upon graduation. Trump gave the Pentagon four months to develop