Sep 21, 2013; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Air Force Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun (center) leads out his players to the field before the start of the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
KUSA - Because of the government shutdown, travel to the Air Force Academy football game on Saturday at Navy has been canceled, the school announced Tuesday.
The release from Air Force states: At this time, travel for all intercollegiate athletics is cancelled - this includes the Air Force-Navy game on Saturday, 5 Oct.
According to the Navy athletics website, notification on Saturday's football game against Air Force "will be made public prior to 12 noon on Thursday." The Department of Defense has suspended all intercollegiate athletic competitions at the service academies.
According to The Associated Press, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said the decision was being reviewed by lawyers considering a series of legal questions, including whether money that comes from sources other than Congress could be used to pay for sports during the government shutdown.
Since AFA football is government-funded, the DOD is looking into whether the Falcons can accept a gift to cover the expenses of the travel and lodging.
Air Force said in the news release they will "attempt to play all home intercollegiate athletic contests but those may be cancelled, as well. Academy officials are working with Mountain West Conference officials, those teams the Falcons were scheduled to play and officials at The Department of the Air Force to make up as many games as possible."
If Saturday's game is postponed, they could make it up near the end of the season, likely Dec. 7. Navy has openings Nov. 30 and Dec. 7. However, Air Force plays CSU on Nov. 30, and the inaugural Mountain West Conference championship game is scheduled for Dec. 7. AFA would play in the MW title game if it wins the Mountain Division.
Air Force has two upcoming bye weeks (Oct. 19 and Nov. 16), but Navy already has games scheduled both weeks.
Earlier in the day, the AFA coach's news conference on Tuesday was canceled. Tuesday morning, Academy officials were working on the role of their coaches and staff should the shutdown continue through the week.
The next scheduled event for Air Force is a volleyball match Thursday at Boise State. There are a number of events Friday, including a women's soccer match at Utah State, cross country at Notre Dame invite and golf and tennis events.
Air Force's next home football game is Thursday, Oct. 10, against San Diego State.
Many in the athletic department are civil-service employees, but AFA football coach Troy Calhoun and his staff are exempt.
The third service academy, Army, is scheduled to play Saturday at Boston College.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)