Mildly Phillies related in that we just acquired Song, but I was fascinated by some of the details in this story with regards to the differences between the Navy and the other service academies, both during COVID and overall. It does make me wonder if the Navy would also be less likely to grant waivers these days compared to the others, if the process does resume
While the three service academies -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- face similar challenges, Niumatalolo said the inability for even a handful of his players to receive an extra year of eligibility -- especially for season-ending injuries and the COVID-ravaged 2020 season -- made it particularly difficult.
Niumatalolo said Navy doesn't redshirt, so he had freshmen and sophomores facing players from the other academies with a sixth year of eligibility from 2020. He said he asked Gladchuk and the Navy superintendent if any players could be granted an extra year of eligibility, but was denied because the government requires the Midshipmen to graduate in four years.
Niumatalolo also said the other academies are done with classes at noon, which he said is a significant advantage because the football program can feed the players twice and have meetings. He said Navy's classes end at 3:20 p.m. and players are sprinting to practice. He asked for the schedule to change, but was told that also couldn't happen. Gladchuk said a lot of Navy's guidance comes from the secretary of the Navy, and conceded the Midshipmen "have to deal with variables that in many cases are not similar."