Air Force Navy Football

The Associated Press

The Air Force offense, left, lines up against Navy during an Oct. 5 game in Annapolis, Md. Navy won 34-25.

Air Force will follow through with its plans to host Navy in a football game at Falcon Stadium in less than three weeks.

Athletic director Nathan Pine told 740 KVOR that logistics have been worked out for the service academy game to be played at 4 p.m. — in front of cadets only — on Oct. 3.

CBS Sports Network holds the broadcast rights to the game.

“We are going to have an opportunity to play our service academy rivals, which is very important,” Pine told KVOR’s Jim Arthur.

Pine was a bit more cryptic in discussing plans for the Army game, currently scheduled for Nov. 7 at West Point. He floated the possibility that the game could be moved up on the calendar if an opening can be found.

Pine also sidestepped questions of how the academy’s turnback policy will impact the football team. The Gazette has reported that multiple — perhaps as many as 40 — football players have explored a provision to leave the academy for this semester. The program is designed to aid cadets facing hardships, and Pine reiterated the academy’s stance that any details on cadets opting for that would be kept private. He said only that a two-deep depth chart would be released the week of the game.

Air Force saw the rest of its fall schedule wiped out when the Mountain West voted in early August to postpone the fall football season because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The Falcons, noting the athletic piece to the academy’s mission to develop officers, kept the rival service academies on the schedule. Navy, as a member of the American Athletic Conference, and Army, an independent in football, are continuing with their season this fall.

In August, the academy also said it would pursue games against the service academies in other sports. Pine announced Sept. 14 in a public letter that those contests will not take place.

"After multiple conversations with the athletic directors at both Army and Navy, we are not going to be able to pull together inter-service competitions this fall," he said. "We have shifted our focus and efforts toward Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference competitions in the spring semester. We will continue to pursue one-off competition in the spring semester prior to the start of Army and Navy's Patriot League competitions."

Contact the writer: brent.briggeman@gazette.com

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