Private Funding Could Save Air Force Vs. Navy Game; How About Boston College-Army?

Ron Antonelli

Can private funding save this weekend's Air Force-Navy and Boston College-Army games?

As a result of the government lockout, the Department of Defense has suspended all intercollegiate athletic competitions at the Service Academies, including travel for Saturday's game between Navy and Air Force. With the academies suspending all athletics, the status of both the Navy-Air Force and Army-Boston College football is up in the air at this point.

The issue at question is whether funds used for the academy's athletics programs are congressionally appropriated funds. A Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, says Pentagon lawyers are determining whether this is the case.

The Air Force Academy continues to practice as if the game is being played, but right now Academy officials are proceeding as if the game will not be played. Air Force will only send out a notification if the game is to be played with the assumption that it will not be.

Though Navy-Air Force is off at this moment, an effort is underway to use non-government funds to save Saturday's Air Force-Navy football game. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette's Brent Briggeman:

A military source said there's about a "50/50 chance" that the game will be played with conference fees, conference TV money and ticket revenue making up for a lack of government funding. If that falls through and the government remains shut down by 10 a.m. Thursday, the game will be cancelled or postponed.

The Thursday noon Eastern deadline was set because that's the last possible time Air Force's charter jet can leave for Annapolis to avoid later conflicts. With any luck, a final determination on whether Saturday's Boston College-Army game can be played can come later a little later in the week with the much shorter trip between West Point and Chestnut Hill.

Also sounds like private funding may be a recourse to save this weekend's game, which would be a welcome gesture by Boston College and the ACC.

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