Biden’s Claim of Turning Down Naval Academy Football Offer Faces Scrutiny

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CLAIM: President Joe Biden stated during a graduation speech at the United States Military Academy West Point that he declined an offer to play football at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Biden has previously shared various versions of this story with graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Biden maintains that he turned down the offer upon discovering that NFL Heisman Trophy winners Joe Bellino and Staubach were on the U.S. Naval Academy football team at that time.

An issue with this claim is that Staubach graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964, while Bellino graduated in 1961, Fox News reported.

“I was one of ten. I wanted to play football,” Biden told the graduates. “And, the day that I was supposed to go down for the interview, a classmate of mine who was also one of the ten appointed to be chosen from, named Steve Dunning, came to pick me up.”

Biden continued: “I found out two days earlier, they had a quarterback named Roger Staubach and a halfback named Joe Bellino. I said, ‘Oh, I’m not going there,’ I went to Delaware. Not a joke.”

During high school, Biden played football for Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware, and graduated from the Catholic college preparatory school in 1961.

Yahoo Sports reported:

Biden would go on to become one of the state’s best players his senior year. Over the course of eight games, he’d score 10 touchdowns, and his 60 points on the season ranked third overall in the state of Delaware.

In addition to claiming he was appointed to the Naval Academy, Biden has stated that he used to drive an 18-wheeler, that he was arrested during the civil rights movement, and that he was the first member of his family to attend college.

Elizabeth Weibel
Elizabeth Weibel
Maryland raised. Virginia based.

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