Boston College’s football team averted the postponement of its homecoming game Saturday against Army when school officials confirmed that the U.S. Department of Defense cleared its service academy football teams to participate in this weekend’s games despite a shutdown of the federal government.
After the government was shut down Monday at midnight, the Dept. of Defense issued a directive suspending all intercollegiate athletic events at the service academies, resulting in the cancellation of men’s and women’s soccer games at the US Naval and US Military academies.
It also threatened the postponement or cancellation of Navy’s huge home game against Air Force in Annapolis, Md., and the BC-Army game at Chestnut Hill (1 p.m., Alumni Stadium).
“I’m thrilled our students and those from the service academies will get to play their games this weekend,” said Boston College athletic director Brad Bates in a statement Thursday. “Thank you, fans, for your patience and understanding the past couple of days. Also, thanks to Army AD Boo Corrigan, who has been terrific through this process.”
In an attempt to find a solution to avoid a postponement or cancellation of Saturday’s homecoming game, at which the 2013 class of inductees into BC’s Varsity Club Hall of Fame were to be recognized at a halftime ceremony, Bates said BC extended an offer to provide financial assistance to cover Army’s travel expenses. But, Bates was told, “it wasn’t a financial issue,” he said.
It was a political matter that wasn’t going to be decided on the campuses of any of the service academies, but, rather, in the Pentagon, where senior officials reportedly met Wednesday evening and decided to allow its service academies to participate in this weekend’s games.