Air Force cancels athletic schedule amid government shutdown; Navy to continue
By BRYAN FLAHERTY AND AVA WALLACE | The Washington Post | Published: January 20, 2018
The shutdown of the federal government that began at midnight already has an early casualty: the Air Force Academy's athletic schedule.
"Due to the government shutdown, all Air Force Academy home and away intercollegiate athletic events have been canceled until further notice," the school said in a statement Saturday morning. "In the event a solution is reached, the Academy will work to reschedule as many missed events as possible."
Federal agencies began shutting down overnight for the first time since October 2013. Congress reconvened Saturday morning in hopes of reaching a deal to reopen the federal government.
Air Force was scheduled to compete in men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming, men's ice hockey and men's gymnastics.
Naval Academy teams will continue to compete as scheduled, as most athletic department employees are civilians, according to Navy spokesman Scott Strasemeier. Army has not commented on its plans at time of publishing, but is scheduled to compete in men's basketball at 2 p.m. Saturday.
All three athletic departments operate as separate, private entities from the government-run academies. The Naval Academy Athletic Association was founded in 1891 as a nonprofit organization to "promote, influence, and assist in financing the athletic contests of the midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy." The Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation began operation in 2013 and the Army West Point Athletic Association began in 2017.