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And just like that, amidst a bunch of politicians akin to spoiled toddlers incapable of finding compromise, the American governmental system came to a screeching halt early Monday morning after representatives on both sides failed to show even a glimpse of bipartisanship in finding resolution regarding the impending Affordable Healthcare Act, and thus failed to establish a sound national spending budget for the fervently approaching fiscal year.
The most important implication for the government shutdown? Well it’s possible that we’ll see a time-honored athletic tradition come to an end as well, in the form of the annual Air Force-Navy game. If the shutdown persists, it will likely have an effect on the seasons’ of all five service academies, including the third Division I program grouped with the aforementioned: Army.
(for reference sake, both the Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy compete in Division III)
With a vast amount of government employees being furloughed through the course of the shutdown due to lack of funding for wages, unfortunately, some service academy pupils fall into these ranks, technically speaking.
According to yesterday’s USA Today article:
…the Department of Defense has suspended all intercollegiate athletics competitions at all three academies, including West Point. For example, Tuesday night’s Navy-Howard soccer game has been canceled.
The suspensions of athletics will last through the government shutdown. If the shutdown is going to extend through the weekend, then the Navy-Air Force game would be postponed, a person with knowledge of the decision process told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not cleared to speak publicly.
Troy Garnhart, an associate athletics director for Air Force, told The (Annapolis) Capital newspaper that upper-class cadets at Air Force are considered military personnel, which means they could be subject to travel restrictions under the shutdown.
How about the guy who gave the statement wanting to remain anonymous because he wasn’t authorized to give public comment? It’s like, a government shutdown, dude — whoever is in a position to reprimand you is probably being furloughed too, so fear not. I think the government is sorting out some more important issues at the present moment than you giving a comment to USA Today.
I digress, though.
Late last night, the Colorado based Gazette reported that there was a chance of private funding being tapped to save the game. According to a military source, there is a “50/50 chance” the contest could be funded with conference fees, TV revenue, and income generated from ticket sales, to make up for the lack of government funding. However, it appears that orchestrating the mechanisms may not be that simple, as “virtually everyone on the administrative side of (service academy) athletics is on government mandated leave.”
For the time being, athletic programs at all three major service academies will intermittently remain in a holding pattern until resolution is found within Congress. An official statement regarding the plausibility of Saturday’s game being played is expected to be made by this Thursday by 10:00 EST — it’s slated for a noon kickoff on CBS.
Should the game not happen, and the service academies’ seasons see even more detrimental consequences in coming days and weeks, we all know who to tip our hats to…