Navy’s athletic director on shutdown: Football game with Air Force is being canceled due to “optics,” not lack of funds

posted at 2:41 pm on October 2, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Greg Pollowitz, the athletic associations for both schools are privately funded. To repeat: The game doesn’t depend on government funding. But officials at both schools answer to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon’s federal funds won’t start flowing again until the shutdown is over. The first, and really only, rule of shutdown theater is that the public must suffer, whether that means threatening to arrest a 95-year-old who fought at Omaha Beach or denying Navy and Air Force fans the simple pleasure of a football game. The public must suffer, because the more the public suffers, the more pressure there’ll be on Congress to turn the lights back on.

And so it’s come to this.

The potential revenue loss to the Naval Academy Athletic Association would likely exceed $4 million, he said. That money comes from ticket sales, sponsorship, parking and concession revenue. The largest revenue stream is the payout NAAA receives from CBS Sports Television…

The Naval Academy Athletic Association is a private organization not funded by the government. [Naval Academy Athletic Director Chet] Gladchuk said the Air Force-Navy game could be held without any “appropriated funding.” Air Force recently created a similar athletic association that operates using private funds, donations and revenue from intercollegiate contests.

“We could run our entire athletics program and conduct events as we always do without any government funds,” Gladchuk said. “In talking to the Air Force athletic director, their football team could execute the trip without government funding.”

Asked why the Department of Defense was suspending intercollegiate athletic contests if government funds are not required, Gladchuk said he was told it was about “optics.”

“It’s a perception thing. Apparently it doesn’t resonate with all the other government agencies that have been shut down,” Gladchuk said.

Who doesn’t it “resonate” with? Who’s going to wet their pants over the fact that the next generation of military officers got to enjoy a game they had looked forward to that didn’t cost the government anything? Only the Democrats in the White House and on the Hill, because it marginally weakens their case that the shutdown is a tragedy for our times. That’s the “optics” here, even though Gladchuk, for obvious reasons, is reluctant to get too specific.

But wait. This isn’t the only venture that costs the feds nothing to operate which they’ve decided must close in solidarity with our vast federal bureaucracy:

The National Park Service has ordered the closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation…

According to Anna Eberly, managing director of the farm, NPS sent law enforcement agents to the park on Tuesday evening to remove staff and volunteers from the property…

“We have operated the Farm successfully for 32 years after the NPS cut the Farm from its budget in 1980 and are fully staffed and prepared to open today. But there are barricades at the Pavilions and entrance to the Farm,” [Managing Director Anna] Eberly explained.

Previous federal funding battles have threatened the farm’s operations. A group of citizens in 1980 formed the Friends of Turkey Run Farm, established a $500,000 endowment for the farm, and negotiated a 30-year no-fee lease.

They didn’t need to close during previous shutdowns but, oddly enough, they’re being shuttered for this one. Said Eberly to the Free Beacon, “You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money.” Right, that’s the punchline to all of this — just like the Park Police erecting barriers around the WWII Memorial and the cancellation of the Navy/Air Force game that would have generated revenue for both schools’ athletic programs, shutdown theater is deliberately extending the economic hit from the shutdown. Not because there’s a critical policy issue at stake but because there’s an extra political point or two to be scored if you’re exacting enough in your pettiness. If you’re into visiting historic farms in federal parks and don’t like coming face to face with a big “CLOSED” sign, hey — that’s what you get for electing Republicans. That might be worth one or two extra votes nationally for Democrats, no?


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Over

Bmore on October 2, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Why is there more security at the World War II Memorial in Washington when the government is ‘shut down’ than there was in Benghazi when the government was ‘open’?

Resist We Much on October 2, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Thank you for providing my new Facebook status update for today.

CurtZHP on October 2, 2013 at 5:34 PM

The Left doesn’t even try to hide this crud anymore. If it’s not Pelosi claiming she never said what she clearly said, it’s blatant “optics” like this…same with the White House tours.

It’s like they simply have no shame.

JetBoy on October 2, 2013 at 5:36 PM

A group of citizens in 1980 formed the Friends of Turkey Run Farm, established a $500,000 endowment for the farm, and negotiated a 30-year no-fee lease.

If the lease is still in effect, then they have grounds to go before a judge and get an injunction. They also have a 30 year track record for an “easement” through Federal property.

Just depends on how bad they want to stir the pot and kick sand in the face of federal bureaucrats. Of course those same low-IQ bureaucrats would NEVER think of retaliation.

GarandFan on October 2, 2013 at 5:39 PM

This is what happens when you elect a President who has only a tenuous connection to the country.

Basilsbest on October 2, 2013 at 5:46 PM

I wonder just how long this “Athletic Dirctor” will have his job, White House retaliation under this President is always harsh. In this administration the truth will not set you free, but it will get you fired.

savage24 on October 2, 2013 at 5:53 PM

It’s like they simply have no shame.

JetBoy on October 2, 2013 at 5:36 PM

That’s because they have no shame.

Quartermaster on October 2, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Democrats.

The Party of No!!! (eleventy!!11!!)

dissent555 on October 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM

The Left doesn’t even try to hide this crud anymore. If it’s not Pelosi claiming she never said what she clearly said, it’s blatant “optics” like this…same with the White House tours.

It’s like they simply have no shame.

JetBoy on October 2, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Indeed. So you see, America …

This is your country.
(cue pic of amber waves of grain)

…And this is the Left running your country …
(cue pic of barry-cades at the WWII memorial)

Any questions?

dissent555 on October 2, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I wonder just how long this “Athletic Dirctor” will have his job, White House retaliation under this President is always harsh. In this administration the truth will not set you free, but it will get you fired.

savage24 on October 2, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Not to worry, Chet will always be able to find a job. As I mentioned upthread, he turned around the Tulane program in the 1980s. He then went to Boston College, his alma mater, and was AD there, before moving to become AD at the University of Houston. He’s a winner.

BTW his dad (same name) was a pro football player in the 1940s; he was drafted by the Steelers but spent his career with the Giants and later with the CFL team in Montreal.

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

It just highlights what assholes this Administration is about. Just like the white house tours etc and the Memorial for the War Vets this time. It is time for a 3rd party

HAGGS99 on October 2, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Games back on, for this weekend only

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Games back on, for this weekend only

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Good to hear it’s back on, but why for this weekend only?

ITguy on October 2, 2013 at 10:43 PM

It’s all part of the Dem/mob/union/media propaganda campaign, decades old and stronger than ever. A revolving door between the network cockroaches and the DNC, a cone of silence drowning all criticism of the Affirmative Action President and the Angry Old White Liberals who run the Dem machine.

Jaibones on October 2, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Now they the Obama thugs are really getting to be nasty and dumb ……….. well they have always been dumb, this is off the scale of being dumb, it is just down right disgusting.

SC.Charlie on October 3, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Ah, good to hear it is back on. I guess they feared the Joint Chiefs of Staff might consider a coup to sack the Obama over this silliness.

SC.Charlie on October 3, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Comment pages: 1 2