BALTIMORE (AP) - Football is on for Army, Navy and Air Force this weekend although some other service academy sports are still suspended because of the government shutdown.
The Defense Department said Thursday everything was on hold at Navy through Sunday except for Saturday's football game against Air Force. According to Navy's website, 19 events were either postponed or cancelled on Saturday and Sunday, including men's and women's soccer games, swim meets and a women's volleyball match at home against Colgate.
Navy and Air Force received the go-ahead to play football because the game is not funded by the government. A sellout crowd is expected.
``We're just grateful that the Department of Defense is allowing us to move forward,'' Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said. ``Speaking on behalf of the athletic department, the fans and the majority of Annapolis, this is a huge relief that we're able to play.''
Army will play its game at Boston College, too.
``I'm thrilled our students and those from the service academies will get to play their games this weekend,'' BC athletic director Brad Bates said. ``Thank you, fans, for your patience and understanding the past couple of days.''
Army confirmed the announcement later Thursday, saying, ``Based on a decision by the Department of Defense, Army's football team will play at Boston College Saturday afternoon.''
Ryan Yanoshak, assistant athletic director for athletic communications at Army, said the football team conducted its usual Thursday practice in the morning and the team would depart for Boston College on Friday afternoon.
But unlike with Navy, Army announced all previously scheduled contests that had not been canceled would go on as planned.
Service academy football games are paid for with nonappropriated funds and have been long planned. Such funds generally come from outside sources and are not approved through Congress.
Gladchuk said his department assured the Pentagon that no government money will be spent on any aspect of the game.
``We provided them with extensive and detailed information to help them justify their decision,'' Gladchuk said.
Gladchuk said a Navy home game typically brings in about $4 million from tickets, sponsorship, television and radio rights fees and other revenues such as parking and concessions.
Football revenue funds Navy's 32 other sports teams.
Saturday's game is particularly important because it will help decide the winner of the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy, awarded annually the service academy with the best record in games involving Air Force, Navy and Army. The winner of the last 13 Navy-Air Force games has gone on to win the coveted trophy.
Gladchuk said the Navy football team continued to practice this week with the notion that the game would go off as planned Saturday.
``It never entered their minds it wouldn't be played,'' he said. ``All they were thinking is that kickoff is at 11:30. But obviously, the final announcement came as a relief and erased the shadow of uncertainty.''
Earlier in the week, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo decided the best approach would be to ignore the possibility of a cancellation and proceed as if the game would be played.
``We try to keep our preparation between the white lines because the things outside the while lines, obviously we have no control over,'' he said.
Senior wide receiver Matt Aiken, a captain on the squad, said, ``At the Naval Academy we deal with a lot of obstacles like this. It's something we just have to overcome.''
The service academies have played before during a government shutdown. The Midshipmen played at Air Force in 1990 under similar circumstances and hosted Tulane in November 1995 during a seven-day shutdown.

Recent NCAAF Discussions

2016 QB Rankings on Wed, Jun 2016 by Blade
2016 Coaching Changes on Wed, Jun 2016 by Blade
2016 College Conference Previews on Mon, Jun 2016 by Blade
Hot Seat Coaches on Sat, Jun 2016 by Blade

NCAAF Headlines

More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Saban not focused on satellite camps After spending part of last week lashing out about satellite camps, Alabama coach Nick Saban now says...
Thumbnail Briles out, Grobe in at Baylor The Baylor football team has a new coach as Art Briles has been fired and Jim Grobe will be...
Thumbnail Cal lands Davis Webb The Cal Bears may have lost the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft at quarterback, but the Golden Bears seem to have found a good replacement...
Thumbnail FSU dismisses running back The Florida State Seminoles have parted ways with running back Mario Pender after a recent arrest.
Thumbnail Hokies suspend two defenders The Justin Fuente era of Virginia Tech football isn’t off to a great start, as two defensive players have been indefinitely...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages