West Point Bans Pillow Fights After Bloody Brawl

30 people were injured in unsanctioned event
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2015 7:00 AM CST

(Newser) – West Point's annual pillow fights—during which hundreds of first-year cadets or "plebes" bludgeon each other—will be no more. The academy's superintendent, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., has banned the unsanctioned events after 30 people were injured in this year's pillow fight on Aug. 20; the injuries included a fractured cheek, broken nose, and 24 concussions; doctors found people were "hit by elbows or other body parts" or were knocked to the ground, per the New York Times. Cadets also suggested "hard objects" were hidden inside pillowcases.

One cadet who was hit from behind ended up unconscious, according to the report, per USA Today. These "unprofessional spirit events" have "no place in the future of the academy or in the development of the Army's next generation of leaders," Caslen says, adding some "senior military members and cadets" may also be disciplined to "send a clear message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated." The Army says the pillow-fight tradition began in 2001—the fight typically takes place at the start of each plebe year—though some suggest the tradition's roots stretch back to the early part of the 20th century. (Read more West Point stories.)

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