Re: Kirk's status, new timeline- Really so far off? (Contains spoilers
It is an interesting idea, though, that the only reason Kirk is a cadet during the film might be because he's (temporarily) relieved of his commission because of the cheating. It still wouldn't make it that much more plausible for him to instantly make Captain (even if he's a Lieutenant) but coupled with the inevitable time jumps, it would be slightly more believable.
"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be." - Yogi Berra