Air Force Academy officials say funding was in place through the Air Force Athletic Corp. to go ahead with competitions Saturday, but the decision to halt events came from an interpretation of what was allowable during the shutdown by military brass above the academy.
The academy said officials with the Army and Navy interpreted it differently, which is why their programs continued to compete this past weekend.
There is no indication at this point that the Air Force’s interpretation has changed, despite a tweet from women’s basketball coach Chris Gobrecht to the contrary.
“Really nice 2 know our Air Force Athletic Foundation was ready to step up & support all our winter sports teams in the event shutdown had continued any longer,” Gobrecht tweeted. “Grateful 2 the people who support AF athletics. Thanks 2 you, we would be competing no matter what! Excited 2 play Wed.!”
With the Washington deal that ended the shutdown in place to fund the government only through Feb. 8, there is a chance Air Force could find itself back in the same position that forced it to cancel all athletic events this past weekend.
But there are two weeks to figure that out.
“I’m confident that between now and three weeks from now that our bosses, the people in charge here at the academy will have a plan in place,” hockey coach Frank Serratore said. “I’m a glass-is-half-full guy today.”