The men’s soccer program at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is on hold due to an ongoing federal investigation into several team members.
A report by Newsday on Monday, June 12, cited an email from the Academy’s superintendent, Rear Adm. James A. Helis, that informed students, faculty and staff of the investigation.
According to Newsday, Helis wrote in the email that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) informed him that upperclassmen on the men’s soccer team are the focus of the probe. As a result, he suspended the program until the investigation is complete.
Specifics on the investigation were not revealed and the report noted that recruits have been notified.
The men’s soccer program competes in the Skyline Conference that includes other local schools including Farmingdale State, SUNY Old Westbury and St. Joseph’s. On Tuesday, June 13, the web pages of the men’s soccer team including Roster/Coaches, Schedule/Results, Statistics and Record Book had been removed from the USMMA’s official athletics website.
In 2016, the USMMA won its eighth Skyline Conference title with a 1-0 win over The Sage Colleges. The team finished the regular season with a record of 13-4-2. The Mariners lost in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs 5-1 to Haverford.
Three USMMA players — Gavin Yingling, Hannes Rogers and Brian Nickel — were named to the Skyline All-Conference Team with Yingling named conference Player of the Year.