Private funds could allow Air Force-Navy to go on

Saturday's scheduled game between Air Force and Navy is in jeopardy due to the government shutdown, but private funding from outside donors could allow the two service academies to meet on the gridiron. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette:

A military source said there's about a "50/50 chance" that the game will be played with conference fees, conference TV money and ticket revenue making up for a lack of government funding. If that falls through and the government remains shut down by 10 a.m. Thursday, the game will be cancelled or postponed.

The military source said there are concerns about public reaction if the Air Force-Navy game is played. The source said those who are trying to salvage the game are worried there will be public backlash when two service academy teams play a game while the government is shut down.

Defense Department spokesperson Bill Urban told ESPN.com that offers from outside sources have been made to fund the teams' travel on Saturday.

Urban said at least a couple of offers have been made to pay for the service academy football teams' travel costs to games if the government shutdown doesn't end before Saturday, but he declined to identify the potential donors.

"There are a lot of questions up in the air," Urban said. "It's a complicated question. We're currently investigating whether non-appropriated funds could be given to a program to travel for an athletic competition. Currently, a legal review is underway. The service academy's football games for this weekend have not been canceled as we speak."

Unless the government resumes operation or other other funding comes through, the game between the Falcons and Midshipmen will not be played. Assuming the shutdown ends relatively soon, the contest could be rescheduled for later in the season.

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