Army’s game at Boston College Saturday will be played after all.
A senior defense official told the Associated Press on Wednesday night that service-academy teams will be allowed to take the field this weekend despite the government shutdown.
The government’s reasons: the games, which included Navy hosting Air Force, are paid for with non-appropriated funds and have been long planned, according to the AP report.
No official statement was made on Wednesday night. West Point did not confirm the game is on as of 10 p.m. Wednesday
A source had told the Times Herald-Record that an official announcement on the status of the Army-Boston College contest and Air Force’s game at Navy in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday would likely come Thursday morning.
A noon deadline was set on the approval of Air Force’s trip.
The AP report said the decision is only for this weekend’s football games. If government shutdown continues, it will be interesting to see what happens to Army’s home game against Eastern Michigan next Saturday.
As for other academy teams, Navy sports information director Scott Strasemeier tweeted Wednesday night, “No word on the rest of sports this weekend.”
Army coach Rich Ellerson prepared his team to play at practice Wednesday morning.
Ellerson told his players, “Keep your focus on who those guys (Boston College) are.”
“Obviously they are not living in a bubble,” Ellerson said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “They know that there’s something going on. We just said ‘guys, this is the expectation that we are going to play and we are going to prepare.’
“I have no insights. I’m preparing like we are going to play. I expect to be in Boston on Saturday.”
Later Wednesday afternoon, officials at the Pentagon were in a meeting discussing, among other things, the fate of two games involving Division I service academies.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had the final say on the games being played, according to sources.
Army has not made athletic director Boo Corrigan available for comment since the Department of Defense’s directive Tuesday to stop service-academy athletic competitions.