Will Mids schedule 11th game? It's in superintendent's hands

Two open dates coincide with academy's exams

Navy notebook

September 19, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

In the aftermath of the cancellation of Saturday's game at Northwestern, the Naval Academy is discussing the possibility of adding an 11th game on one of its two remaining open dates.

Acting athletic director Capt. Kevin Sinnett said there is "a significant interest" from other schools to play and that the department is "hoping for a decision in the next few days."

The superintendent, Vice Adm. John Ryan, will make the decision. One consideration is that the open dates - Sept. 29 and Nov. 3 -coincide with the six- and 12-week examinations at the academy.

"And it depends a lot on whether it would be a home game or involve travel," Sinnett said. "You just can't say you're going to have a football game in a minute. We've got the staff [going]."

Bittersweet reunion

When Navy's class of '71 celebrates its 30th reunion this weekend, it will be a bittersweet experience for Boston College coach Tom O'Brien.

"It's tugging at me," said O'Brien, a member of that class. "Not that I could participate in the occasion, but we did have a classmate in the tragedy."

That was Chick Burlingame, the pilot of Flight 77. Terrorists flew the plane into the Pentagon.

"There will be a service held for him Thursday at the academy. It's sobering," said O'Brien, whose brother was working within 120 yards of the crash site. "What should have been a festive weekend now will not be."

Added security

Security will be beefed up for Saturday's Boston College game, but academy officials will try to make the occasion as normal as possible.

The flyover by Navy jets and march-on by the brigade are scheduled as usual.

However, fans are advised to arrive early because of security checkpoints. All fans will pass through a metal detector, and won't be allowed to carry purses, bags, backpacks or coolers into Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Fans will not be allowed to re-enter the stadium.

Et cetera

Boston College was idle Saturday, so its schedule remains intact. ... Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie said quarterback Brian Madden has been practicing for two weeks and is "doing well." He is expected to play for the first time after a two-game academy suspension. ... The extra time has allowed Navy to heal some of its nagging injuries, a factor that could help against an opponent Weatherbie labels as "very physical."

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