Government shutdown could affect Notre Dame's Navy, Air Force games

Government shutdown could affect Notre Dame's Navy, Air Force games
October 1, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Notre Dame and Navy have played each other every year since 1927, but the government shutdown could change that.

Among the government employees furloughed due to the executive and legislative branches' impasse are support staffs at the United States' service academies -- Army, Navy and Air Force. Additionally, some upperclassmen at Air Force fall under the government travel restrictions.

It's led to a potential postponement of this Saturday's sold-out Air Force-Navy game in Annapolis, as a decision on the game's fate will be made by Thursday at noon. All intercollegiate athletics at Army, Navy and Air Force have been suspended by the U.S. Department of Defense, and Navy already had to axe a soccer match against Howard scheduled for Tuesday night.

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It's unknown how long the current government shutdown will last, but if it's as long as the 1995 shutdown -- 21 days -- it would bump right up against Notre Dame's Oct. 26 date with Air Force in Colorado Springs. A week later, Notre Dame is scheduled to welcome Navy to South Bend.

Coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday the potential effect of the shutdown on Notre Dame's schedule was brought to his attention right before his press conference, and that he and Notre Dame will know more later.

Asked if Notre Dame could turn to an FCS program to play as an emergency contingency plan, Kelly laughed: "Oh, I'd love to look at an FCS opponent. I would be one vote in a room of probably nos. I certainly know how that's gonna go."