USAA Flies Air Force Football Team to Game with Navy

(AP Photo/Nick Wass) (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

In a timely save, USAA picked up the Air Force college football team’s travel tab to Annapolis for its sold-out contest with Navy last weekend.

On Wednesday, USAA, an insurance provider for military members and their families, pledged $230,000 to get the team to Annapolis. The game was under threat due to the government shutdown.

“We were very excited to support this weekend’s game between Air Force and Navy,” says USAA spokesman Matthew Walters. “Games between the academies have a long tradition, and we wanted to ensure that tradition carried on. Sponsorship of academy athletic events provides USAA with the opportunity to engage with our members and support their shared passion.”

The Air Force Falcons’ arrival at the field reads like the plot of a sports film: with federal employees furloughed due to the government shutdown, the Air Force Academy Athletic Corp. first considered using its non-profit arm to pay for the trip using capital from activities such as merchandise sales.

However, as Academy CEO Derm Coll learned, legally putting that money towards the game would require a Congressional rewrite of the language in the nonprofit’s charter—in the middle of a government crisis and just days before the nationally-televised game was scheduled to play out before a crowd of 400,000. That is, if the government approved the game at all.

Coll tells news sources he reached out to many of the team’s sponsors to ensure that the Falcons could travel if the game was on.

"I was expecting we'd get $50,000 or $100,000," Coll told news sources.

Two days before Saturday, the Department of Defense still needed to approve both USAA’s donation and give approval for the sporting event itself.

Around noon on October 3, the Department sounded the whistle that the game could go on, since the Naval Academy Athletic Association operates on private, not federal, funds. Just hours later, as the Air Force athletes were boarding their charter plane, the USAA grant received attorney approval.

Navy won 28-10 against the Air Force.

Though this story ended happily,  the remaining 24 military athletic events scheduled this season have been cancelled.

About the Author
Anya Khalamayzer,

Anya Khalamayzer,

Anya Khalamayzer is Assistant Editor of Risk for PropertyCasualty360-National Underwriter. Khalamayzer graduated from CUNY Baruch College after intensive internships with Time Out New York Kids and Crain’s Investment News. Keenly interested in environmental science, music and the arts, her articles have been published in Gotham Gazette, Wonkster blog and Ear to Mind magazine. She can be reached at


Resource Center

View All »

Contractors General Liability Coverage 102

What is a prior work exclusion? Which option is right for my client? Why do...

Sign up today to get a 50% matching credit -...

Insurance marketing sometimes seems like it's a game of swings and misses, but we're here...

Guide: 5 Steps to Selling Cyber

Cyber risk and data security is on the agenda of every business owner and executive....

Citation Correlation

Do rigger and signalperson qualifications correlate with the cause of crane and rigging accidents? ...

Complete Guide to Electronic Signatures in Property & Casualty Insurance...

In property and casualty insurance, closing new business quickly is key. Learn how to leverage...

INSTANT ACCESS: Complimentary Sales Closer Questionnaires

Help property owners or managers compare your commercial residential property insurance coverage vs. the competition....

Determining Vacant Property Perils and Valuations

Are your clients fully covered for Vacant Properties? In this economic climate, your insureds may...

Risk Management for Law Firms

This package of 3 concise risk management articles offers straightforward content and practical suggestions law...

Guide: Top 15 E&O Risks-And How To Avoid Them

Accidents happen. But when it's an errors and omissions oversight, that accident can open your...

We'll Show You How to Reach Your Sales Goals

Whether you work alone or have a team of agents working for you, we can...

Personal Lines Pro eNewsletter

Critical insights into the personal auto, homeowners, and other consumer insurance markets to help P&C professionals stay informed – FREE! Sign Up Now!

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.