Army, Navy, Air Force Football Fall Victim To The Shutdown

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The latest victim of the shutdown is this week’s football games involving all three of the nation’s service academies:

The Defense Department has canceled intercollegiate sports at its three service academies during the government shutdown, according to an announcement Tuesday.

The Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy are suspending their football and most other games. Specifically, the Naval Academy said it had canceled a soccer game scheduled for Tuesday night against Howard University and Saturday’s football game against Air Force in Annapolis, Md.

The Pentagon must furlough some 400,000 civilian employees during the shutdown and has also said it will cut back on travel — two factors that could contribute to the decision to suspend the academies’ popular athletic programs.

There is legislation that was signed into law by President Obama today that gives the Defense Department more leeway in deciding how to handle the shutdown, as well as ensuring pay for the uniformed military during a shutdown, but it’s unclear how the DoD will utilize that authority. In the end, there may well be more important things than using the money to fund collegiate athletics.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, Sports, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    As noted earlier, we pulled dozens of Marine officers out of a field exercise that was already underway today. No way you can do that and spend money on traveling collegiate sports.




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  2. C. Clavin says:

    Sure we can…apparently, judging by the Vet’s Memorial…we can open anything the wing-nuts think should be opened.




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  3. James Joyner says:

    @C. Clavin: But that one is relatively easy. Putting on a football game requires flying hundreds of people across the country.

    Of course, the thousands of people who had already paid for airline tickets to watch the game are just screwed.




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  4. Mark Ivey says:

    “Of course, the thousands of people who had already paid for airline tickets to watch the game are just screwed.”

    They can demand that Obama re-fund their tickets, that´s what Ted Cruz would say anyway..




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  5. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    “No way you can do that and spend money on traveling collegiate sports.”

    Are you sure you grew up in Alabama, James? I thought nothing was more important than collegiate football (except maybe high school football) to the citizens of that state.




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  6. al-Ameda says:

    @James Joyner:

    Of course, the thousands of people who had already paid for airline tickets to watch the game are just screwed.

    I’ll let Steve King know, and I’ll cc: Eric Cantor.




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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There is legislation that was signed into law by President Obama today that gives the Defense Department more leeway in deciding how to handle the shutdown,

    Because, heaven forbid we inconvenience the military industrial complex.

    Meanwhile:

    At the National Institutes of Health, nearly three-quarters of the staff was furloughed. One result: director Francis Collins said about 200 patients who otherwise would be admitted to the NIH Clinical Center into clinical trials each week will be turned away. This includes about 30 children, most of them cancer patients, he said.

    As quoted from the WSJ (behind a firewall) by someone at Balloon Juice, so I can’t check the veracity, but sounds about right.




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  8. anjin-san says:

    @ James Joyner

    the thousands of people who had already paid for airline tickets to watch the game are just screwed.

    How about the poor, the sick, the elderly, the mentally ill that are going to get screwed out of this deal?

    F**k a football game.




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  9. Tyrell says:

    Why not shut down the IRS and send their money to the Defense Department with the requirement that the money can be spent on the games only. There is no sense in hurting the players and fans. The country can do without the IRS for a little while. Come to think of it, we could do very well without it for a long time.




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  10. Bill says:

    Doug,

    A few things

    1- This game was meant to honor the 1963 Navy team led by Roger Staubach that rose to #2 in the rankings before losing the Cotton Bowl to #1 Texas

    2- The Air Force according to the Washington Times ‘released a statement saying all travel for athletics is canceled “at this time,” but Navy will wait till Thursday before making a decision about the game.




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  11. superdestroyer says:

    Traffic was light today in DC. What is amazing is how different contractors are affected. If the contractor is working in a government building, they are off and will not be paid for the day (of course, the company could opt to pay the employee or allow them to take leave). However, contractors in work in company sites were at work today since their contracts do not all fall on the FY and many of them will opt to work “at risk” and hope to be paid for it later.




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  12. Franklin says:

    I believe the Air Force is winless, so they should be glad.




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  13. An Interested Party says:

    The country can do without the IRS for a little while. Come to think of it, we could do very well without it for a long time.

    Yes, of course, because taxes just collect themselves…perhaps you will voluntarily offer to pay taxes…




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  14. anjin-san says:

    @ An Interested Party

    because taxes just collect themselves

    They sure do! And roads repair themselves, fires put themselves out, food inspects itself, shipping containers at ports do their own radiological screenings…

    Don’t you know anything?




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  15. Mike says:

    It isn’t good football anyway. Just good rivalries. An area to be cut? Me thinks so




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  16. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “Of course, the thousands of people who had already paid for airline tickets to watch the game are just screwed. ”

    Good. The biggest problem with this country today is that the motherf-ing Tea Party gets to f- up everything and not suffer. They get their crony contracts, farm subsidies, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and everything else. All while working hard to make sure that the rest of us won’t get that.




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  17. DC Loser says:

    It’s not true contractors on government facilities are sent home. I’m the PM of a program on a government facility, and my program as well as others in my office with contractors on site are continuint to work. Our contracts are fully funded (paid) by the government so we have to work.

    This morning’s DC commute for me was excrutiatingly slow with monstrous traffic jams on my route and on the beltway.




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  18. Ferd says:

    @Barry: Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was the Tea Party that hasn’t put out a budget in, what is it now, 4 years? They are running the Senate. Or how about the vote this morning? Nope, also the Senate. Don’t count things like disastrous regulations, increasing healthcare costs, highest unemployment since the 30s. It might be telling that the only states growing are red states, while blue states are going bankrupt. Yep, all because of the Tea Party. I like how all you angry little statists blame everything on a small group of people. You’re a good little government tool, Barry. Emphasis on tool.




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  19. Ferd says:

    @anjin-san: Strawman much? Yeah, since when does the federal gov’t completely fund local firehouses? I guess that’s why my local volunteer firehouse is asking me for money again. Roads are also maintained by fedgov? No, wait. I guess it was just a fluke that only 6% of the EPA was “essential” or less at the Dept of Ed. I bet you even have a “Question Authority” sticker on your car.




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  20. An Interested Party says:

    It might be telling that the only states growing are red states, while blue states are going bankrupt.

    Umm, where are the statistics to prove that claim? And let’s not forget that red states get more back from the federal government than they send in and blue states pay more to the federal government than they get back…




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  21. the Q says:

    I can’t believe the networks or the NCAA aren’t working something out to where traveling expenses can be paid by them and collected later when this insanity is over.

    Canceling a game and the attendent loss from gate and TV revenue would dwarf the money needed to get the two teams to the location by saturday.




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  22. Long Time Listener says:

    Lot’s of strongly-held opinions, seasoned with vitriol, today…. Nothing like the anonymity of the internet. Anywhoo…. Military exercises cancelled. Civilian military professors furloughed. I agree with Dr. Joyner- the optics of teams travelling isn’t great. This coming from someone who’s enjoyed seeing Navy trounce Army on national TV, and was expecting more of the same, this season….




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