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Duke could replace Navy with Fresno State if the government shutdown continues

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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As Air Force and Navy continue to figure out a way around the government shutdown to play Saturday’s Commander-in-Chief’s game, Navy’s next opponent, Duke, is also trying to sort out its schedule.

According to WRAL Sports, the station that broadcasts Duke games, if Navy can’t play against Duke on Oct. 12, the Blue Devils would try to bring Fresno State to town.

Fresno State is looking for an extra game because its contest at Colorado on Sept. 14 was canceled due to flooding and the Bulldogs have an open date next weekend.

A statement from Duke on Tuesday said that there is no contingency plan as of now with the game still more than a week away.

Should the game be postponed, the Blue Devils could possibly reach out to Fresno State for a rescheduled contest in Durham, although no conversations between Duke and Fresno State have taken place.

But the Fresno Bee said informal discussions have been in the works. Fresno State's only hangup is the amount of travel it would incur - the Bulldogs would play at Hawaii, at Idaho and at Duke in consecutive weeks.

"It really comes down to a financial formula," Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh told the Fresno Bee. "There are not many schools at this point that are willing to host a game because they cannot generate the kind of revenue in the short-term they would need to pay a guarantee and pay the expenses of the game, and we're in the same situation. If we put a pencil to it, without any tickets being in the season-ticket package and having to start from scratch, it would be very difficult to generate the kind of income we would need to cover guaranteed expenses."

The Department of Defense issued a statement Tuesday saying that all athletic competitions involving Service Academies were canceled during the government shutdown.

Air Force and Navy are trying to figure out a way to play this weekend’s game even it that means using private funding. But that’s a rivalry game. There’s no telling whether private donations would continue to subsidize the schedule for as long as the shutdown continues.

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