Air Force-Navy, Army-BC Games To Be Held After Non-Governmental Funding Approved
Air Force's football team will play at Navy on Saturday "as a $230,000 gift will cover the team’s expenses and avert a possible cancellation" of the game "resulting from the government shutdown," according to Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs GAZETTE. Navy's website announced that approval was "handed down from the Department of Defense to play the sold-out game." The company that provided the gift "will not be made public until legal issues are finalized." With the decision, one of the "strangest sagas in service academy athletic history came to a temporary resolution -- though upcoming games may face the same hurdles if a resolution isn’t reached in Congress." United Airlines also "stepped in with an offer to fly Air Force to the game for free." The offer was "legitimate, but Air Force opted to stick with its original Delta charter." Briggeman notes "plenty was at stake" in deciding whether to hold the game, as Navy "expects to generate more than $4 million between ticket sales, concessions and television revenue" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 10/3). In Annapolis, Jackson & Wagner report U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was to be "the one to determine the fate" of the Air Force-Navy and Army-Boston College games. Sources said that Hagel, who is "currently in South Korea, had been presented a proposal that would allow" the games to go on. Navy AD Chet Gladchuk said that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Vice Admiral & Naval Academy Superintendent Mike Miller have "both given their approval to the proposal" (Annapolis CAPITAL GAZETTE, 10/3). ESPN.com cited a source as saying that the "costs of the games would be completely taken care of by 'nongovernment funding,' which generally comes from outside sources and is not approved through Congress" (ESPN.com, 10/2).
WORD FROM THE TOP: Saturday's Army-Boston College game is also scheduled to be played, and in Boston, Rich Thompson reports BC AD Brad Bates and Army AD Boo Corrigan prior to yesterday's approval had been "making side arrangements to play the game" if the government shutdown remained in effect through the weekend. BC has "several homecoming events planned for tomorrow and Saturday" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/3).