The Air Force at Navy and Army at Boston College football games are in danger of being canceled due to the government shutdown, caused when Congress failed to pass a spending bill to fund the government last night. The Department of Defense made the announcement Tuesday that it has suspended travel for intercollegiate athletic competitions at the nation's service academies due to the financial impasse, which also furloughed 800,000 federal workers, according to ESPN on Oct. 1.
A spokesman for the Pentagon, Army Col. Steve Warren, said the travel suspension is being reviewed by Pentagon lawyers to determine if the funds used for those activities are appropriated by Congress.
The Air Force Academy issued a statement that as of now, the Air Force-Navy game on Saturday, Oct. 5 is cancelled. But it doesn't address whether that suspension is permanent, or if the game would be played as scheduled if the governmental standoff is solved in the next two days.
A Navy spokesman said that a decision about its game against Air Force would be made by noon ET on Thursday. Boston College athletic director Brad Bates issued a statement indicating he's in close communication with Army athletics officials regarding their Saturday match-up.
Bates said they intend to "exhaust all possibilities" to get the game played, and he vowed to transmit any communication he receives on the matter as soon as possible.
But the Department of Defense is saying that no games will be played as long as Congress fails to fund the government. The breakdown happened when the House and Senate could not agree on a spending bill by midnight on Oct. 1.
Fox News reports that the possible cancellations will have ramifications for television schedules and conference rankings. A record crowd of 40,000 was expected at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium near the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The game was scheduled to air on CBS.
The Navy sent out an email to soccer fans Tuesday that read, "As a result of the government shutdown, the Department of Defense has suspended all athletic competitions at the Service Academies".
That was sent along with their announcement that the Navy Men's Soccer game vs. Howard has been canceled for Tuesday night, adding it's not known at this time if it will be re-scheduled.
Perhaps the looming prospect of the college football game cancellations, and resulting reverberations, will be the one thing that finally forces Congress' hand to act.