As it turns out, the Air Force-Navy game isn’t the only one facing cancellation.
In a press release sent out a short time ago, Navy announced that the Department of Defense has suspended all intercollegiate competitions at the nation’s service academies due to the government shutdown. At the very least, the Air Force-Navy game as well as Army’s game at Boston College are in danger of being canceled.
As far as the former contest is concerned, the Navy wrote in its release that the academy “will cancel contests as appropriate and notification on Saturday’s football game against Air Force will be made public prior to 12 noon on Thursday.”
If the shutdown bleeds into next week, Air Force’s game against San Diego State Thursday night — a Mountain West showdown, no less — would be in jeopardy as well thanks to the DOD edict. Two days later, Navy travels to Duke while Army hosts Eastern Michigan, both of which could also be canceled.
Unlike previous reports, Navy’s release made no distinction between traveling to games or home contests; ALL “intercollegiate competitions” are suspended until further notice.
Additionally, the release did not use the word “postpone” when discussing the shutdown’s potential impact on games, football or otherwise. The word “cancel” was used twice, although there appears to be some wiggle room depending on the duration of the shutdown.
“Tonight’s soccer game against Howard has been cancelled,” Navy’s release stated. “It is not known at this time if the game will be made up or not.”
Presumably, the same holds true for any football games that are at least temporarily canceled.
UPDATED 1:59 p.m. ET: With the subject line of “Air Force intercollegiate teams will not travel during partial government shutdown,” the Colorado Springs service academy released a statement addressing the situation it finds itself in thanks to politics. Air Force is still holding out hope that home games will be played, although the DOD decree suggests otherwise.
At this time, travel for all intercollegiate athletics is cancelled – this includes the Air Force-Navy game on Saturday, 5 Oct.
The Air Force Academy Falcons will attempt to play all home intercollegiate athletic contests but those may be cancelled, as well. Academy officials are working with Mountain West Conference officials, those teams the Falcons were scheduled to play and officials at The Department of the Air Force to make up as many games as possible.