The shutdown of the US Government had finally crossed a line that many folks will deem unacceptable: it is now affecting football games.
This weekend’s game between Air Force and the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, has been put on hold and may not be played. Army is due to play Boston College, but a decision on whether or not that game will be played has yet to be made.
The Department of Defense has made the decision to suspend athletics at all the service academies for the time being, but the good news — at least for basketball fans — is that the suspension will only affect competition.
A spokesman for Army confirmed to NBCSports.com that all of their teams, in and out of season, are practicing and holding workouts. None of the coaches are government service employees, which means that the entire staff showed up for work Tuesday. The school declined making head coach Zach Spiker available to answer questions about the shutdown.
Earlier in the day, Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com reported that Air Force would be continuing on with practice as planned as well, although one member of their coaching staff, Drew Long, is paid by the government and therefore taking the day off.
Navy had not responded to an email at the time of this posting.
(UPDATE: A Navy spokesman told NBCSports.com that the shutdown doesn’t affect the hoops program at all: “The Naval Academy Athletic Association is a 501c3 and does not receive government funding. All of our coaches are paid by NAAA. They will continue to practice.”)