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Navy’s Brigade Of Midshipmen Denied Waiver To Attend BYU Game

Aug 31, 2020, 5:06 PM
Navy Midshipmen Brigade...
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 05: Navy Midshipmen fans celebrate following the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at EverBank Field on November 5, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Since August 19th, we’ve known that no fans would be in attendance at the BYU-Navy game on Labor Day night in Annapolis. The one question was whether or not the Navy’s Brigade of Midshipmen (student body) would be allowed to attend amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per the Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, the answer is no.

The Capital Gazette first reported the news. Navy’s 4,400-person student body has been in a bubble and been tested for months on the Annapolis campus. But no waiver was granted for the mids.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have fans there,” said Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo on Monday. “I would have loved to play BYU with a full stadium like it normally is. We’re tough to beat at home. We’re a hard team to beat at our stadium. I mean, it is what it is. We’re just grateful to be playing. But I understand the superintendent and Chet’s decision. We have to keep people safe. We’re still figuring this out. Maybe game one’s not the right time [for fans]. Yes, we would love to have had them. But it’s the right call.”

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium holds 34,000 seats but will sit empty next Monday night.

BYU players on Monday when asked about what they think the atmosphere will be like without fans and a couple of them, including starting quarterback Zach Wilson, said they feel it will have a “scrimmage” type of feel with no fans present. But the intensity of the game doesn’t change one bit. Especially lining up against a Navy team that finished last year in the top 25 and won 11 ball games. Including all six of their home games a season ago.

“That’s never been a factor to us for us to look and see how many fans are in the stands,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “I think once you get in there and get ready and have that mindset of just playing the game, that’s all that matters.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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