COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Air Force football coach Fisher
DeBerry expressed shock Thursday that two of his players face
criminal charges for using steroids.
``I'm disappointed,'' DeBerry said before addressing a luncheon
held by the Colorado Springs Sport Corp. ``But at the same time
there'll be a normal proceedings and you just pray that these two
young men that have been challenged, that things will work out
positively for them. But I don't know.''
The Air Force Academy announced Tuesday that Matt Ward and
Overton Spence have been charged with using steroids. Two other
cadets who are not athletes were also charged.
Ward and Spence were suspended from the team following spring
practice. Ward was the fourth-leading rusher for the Falcons last
season with 384 yards, while Spence, saw action in every game last
season and was a candidate for a starting job at linebacker this
Ward faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted and Spence
could be sentenced to up to 25 years. One of the other cadets
accused of distributing the steroids could be sent to prison for 65
years if convicted.
The loss of Ward and Spence comes as the Air Force has been
gutted by injuries and graduation. This year the Falcons will
return only one starter on offense and only three on defense.
Nevertheless, DeBerry, who is entering his 21st season at Air
Force, was optimistic about the players who will eventually fill
out the roster.
``You've always got to be anticipating injuries, and this is
like an injury,'' DeBerry said. ``Whenever you lose a player,
regardless of what it is, I think you have to look at it with that
attitude, and there's got to be somebody else standing in line. And
that's just a great opportunity. Whoever we choose to step in there
and play, that they'll give us a great effort and we wont miss a