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Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne)
October 3, 2013 Thursday
LOCAL SPORTS; Main Sports; Pg. 10-3 SPTS archive MW football notebook
|Service academy games will go on
By Lolita C.
Ralph D. Russo
U.S. military academy football teams will play this weekend, despite the government shutdown.
A senior defense official said Wednesday the decision affects this weekend's games only, and future games will be evaluated as events unfold. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.
Navy later confirmed its home game against Air Force in Annapolis, Md., would be played as scheduled Saturday. The game is sold out and is the most notable one on the Midshipmen's home schedule. The Army-Navy game at the end of the season is played at a neutral site.
The Navy-AFA game and Army's game at Bos
College were in jeopardy after the Defense Department temporarily suspended sports competition at the service academies as a result of the budget impasse in Congress.
Email messages left with spokesmen for Army and Air Force were not immediately returned.
Navy said there has been no indication if the other 24 athletic events involving Naval Academy teams scheduled from Thursday-Sunday will take place.
The football teams will be allowed to play because the games are paid for with non-appropriated funds, and have been long planned. Non-appropriated funds generally come from outside sources and are not approved through Congress.
Earlier in the day, Navy athletic director Chet
said he was optimistic the Pentagon would allow the games to be played.
He said the athletic department had provided information to Pentagon officials to assure them that no government funds will be spent on any aspect of the game.
said a Navy home game brings in about $4 million from tickets, sponsorship, television and radio rights fees and other revenues such as parking and concessions. The game essentially pays for itself, he said.
Football revenue also funds Navy's 32 other sports teams.
"It would be devastating to our budget,"
said about having a home game canceled.
The coaches and players involved were still preparing for the games to be played.
"I wouldn't say they're oblivious, but they are practicing and trying to maintain that laser focus,"
Boston College coach Steve
said: "In my mind, we are playing on Saturday. It's just how I feel."
UNLV is riding a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2003, which probably isn't the best time for a bye week.
Coach Bobby Hauck said the team will use the time off to concentrate more on fundamentals, get healthier and work on academics.
"You can't worry about (the timing) so much just because you don't have control over it," Hauck said. "The schedule comes out, and it is what it is. You make the most of it, and that's what we'll do."
The Rebels (3-2, 1-0 MW) ended their 23-game road losing streak, the second-longest in school history. UNLV lost 26 consecutive games from 1994 to 1998.
Its 56-point output against New Mexico was the school's highest total since beating New Mexico State 58-42 on Nov. 15, 1986.
UNLV also is over .500 for the first time since beginning the 2009 season 2-1.
The victory at New Mexico was emotional and important, with players dousing Hauck with water with about 35 seconds left. They also gave him the game ball.
Matt Wells had trouble hiding his feelings Monday as he let the bad news slip.
Utah State's head coach choked up as he talked about a season-ending injury to senior guard Kyle
, one of the team's more affable and experienced players.
"Senior year, and for it to happen going into this week, it stings for him," Wells said. "
real life, and it's real emotions for us. We're not going to hide it. It's part of the game."
Whimpey, who tore his patellar tendon, was one of the five returning starters on Utah State's offensive line this season, one of the team's most cohesive groups. Kevin
, Kyle's twin brother, starts at left tackle, and together the unit had 135 starts after playing last Friday.
The injury would be troubling in any circumstance, but this week is particularly tough with BYU headed into Logan. The deep-rooted rivalry will be that much tougher without a senior lineman available.
Around the MW
New Mexico's 497 yards rushing against UNLV vaulted it to third nationally with an average of 324.5 yards rushing per game. Running back Kasey Carrier ranks seventh nationally with 139.8 yards per game.
Fresno State's Derek Carr had a streak of 180 consecutive passes without an interception snapped in the third quarter at Hawaii, when he had a pass tipped at the line to Hawaii's Art Laurel. Wyoming's Brett Smith owns the record of 183.
- San Diego State linebacker Jake
Fely, a preseason All-Mountain West first-team selection, broke a bone in his right foot in the Aztecs' 26-16 win over New Mexico State last Saturday.
will have surgery this week and be out at least eight weeks.
Various Mountain West beat writers also contributed to this story.
October 3, 2013