State Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell issued a public apology after facing backlash for her comments.
Esper signed a memo laying out the new guidelines, which says the athletes must get approval from the defense secretary.
Trump said that athletes would "serve their time after they're finished with professional sports."
The military academies reported a combined 47 percent increase in unwanted sexual contact incidents since 2016.
Incidents of sexual assault are up nearly 50 percent at the nation's military academies, and reporting rates remain stagnant.
These tips give you an edge in getting into one of these elite institutions.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the new lieutenants graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy should prepare to face war.
Vice President Mike Pence has been tapped to speak at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's graduation ceremony next month.
Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's 2018 graduating class is needed more than ever.
Two years of active duty service now are required before a deferment for professional sports can be considered.