It seems one airline has found a way to pull some good public relations tricks in the fallout of the ongoing government shutdown. As previously reported, the service academies have shut down all athletic competitions for the time being, putting this weekend’s game between Air Force and Navy in jeopardy. According to Air Force, upper-class cadets at the Air Force Academy could be subject to travel restrictions under the shutdown because they are considered military personnel. Now one airline is offering to ease the travel concerns.
United Airlines took to Twitter to announce they are willing to provide complimentary travel to the Air Force football team for this weekend so at least one game threatened by the shutdown can go on. This is a terrific act of kindness of course, but it also serves for some terrific public relations feedback. The tweet generated more than 3,000 retweets and has received plenty of praise from fans.
A decision on the fate of this weekend’s Air Force-Navy game is expected to be made by noon on Thursday.
Army’s game at Boston College is still up in the air as well. For all three service academies though, it appears as though there is more than financial concerns at play, which is really just politics getting involved with college football.
Not surprisingly, Duke will be without one of its biggest and most productive threats in the passing game this weekend.
In releasing the injury report ahead of Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech, the Blue Devils confirmed that Anthony Nash will not play against the Yellow Jackets. The wide receiver suffered a broken clavicle during the Oct. 14 loss to Louisville.
There’s no timetable for the redshirt senior’s return.
Nash currently leads the Blue Devils in receiving yards (398) and yards per reception (13.7). His two receiving touchdowns are tied for second on the team.
Prior to the injury, Nash had started 16 consecutive games.
In a statement Wednesday night, Memphis head coach Mike Norvell confirmed that he has indefinitely suspended wide receiver Jae’Lon Oglesby and cornerback Kam Prewitt from his football program.
The teammates were reportedly involved in an on-campus physical altercation Tuesday. Later that day, several gunshots were fired into Oglesby’s car while the receiver was sitting in his apartment. Oglesby told police he did not see who fired the shots, but did indicate that he had been involved in the altercation with Prewitt.
No one has been arrested in connection to either incident, and Memphis police are currently investigating the situation.
“I will make no further comments on this matter while it remains under investigation,” the Tigers coach said in his statement. Norvell’s decision to suspend the players came after consultation with athletic director Tom Bowen.
Bowen said in his own statement that the university has “offered our full support to the local authorities investigating that incident.”
The past two seasons, Oglesby, a sophomore, has caught 25 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. Five of those catches and 46 of the yards have come in 2016. He also has carried the ball eight times for 64 yards.
A redshirt freshman, Prewitt has yet to play a down for the Tigers. According to the Commercial Appeal he was suspended during summer camp for undisclosed reasons.
Whether Florida will have its leading tackler for its annual rivalry game with Georgia won’t be known (still) for another couple of days.
The good news is that, for the first time since severely spraining his ankle in the Week 7 win over Missouri, Jarrad Davis returned to practice Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis. If the linebacker takes the field for the UGA game, it won’t be known until Saturday shortly before kickoff.
“Obviously, that will be one of those that it’s got to be right with him, got to be right with the doctors. We’ll see. Kind of game time,” head coach Jim McElwain said. “I thought he moved pretty well. One of the tackling circuits he got beat up by one of the sleds. The sled bit back, but it was good to see. The opportunity to play in this game is something that’s real special and that guy is a real big part of our team. He’ll do anything he can to help us.”
Davis currently leads the Gators in tackles with 48 and is tied for second on the team with 3.5 tackles for loss.
While the status of Davis remains up in the air, McElwain did confirm that two starting defensive linemen, end Jordan Sherit and tackle Joey Ivie, will play against the Bulldogs. Sherit underwent arthroscopic surgery three weeks ago while Ivie had surgery performed on his thumb the week before. Additionally, starting defensive end Bryan Cox has a chance to play despite his own thumb injury.
Thankfully, one of the more underrated in-state rivalries isn’t going away anytime soon.
BYU and Utah announced Thursday that the schools have reached an agreement on a two-game extension of their series. The Cougars will host the first game of the extension Sept. 11, 2021, in Provo while the Utes will return the favor Sept. 3 the following season in Salt Lake City.
The schools had previously agreed to games from 2017 through the 2020 season.
“BYU-Utah is one of the great college rivalries in the country. There’s a lot of history and tradition between the two schools and I’m glad we were able to extend the series through 2022,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe in a statement. “I’ve loved this rivalry as a player, coach and administrator, and look forward to the future games.”
The teams have played 91 times since the series kicked off in 1922. The Utes hold a 56-31-4 advantage all-time, including a 20-19 win earlier this season.