After its game against BYU was postponed, Army’s football team still wanted to play.
Like — they really, really, really wanted to play. This weekend. Against anybody.
So much that the Black Knights’ athletic director, Mike Buddie, took to Twitter in search of any team that was interested in a trip to West Point to face the “COVID negative” and undefeated Cadets. The call went unanswered, at least publicly.
But Army still wanted to play.
So, on Tuesday, after Arkansas State canceled its game against FCS side Central Arkansas, Army responded quickly, and reportedly invited UCA up to West Point for a match-up this weekend. That’s according to George Stoia, a reporter with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
For UCA though, it was too much too soon.
Just got off the phone with UCA athletic director Brad Teague who said Army called him 15 minutes after the Arkansas State postponement to see if UCA would come to West Point THIS WEEKEND.— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) September 15, 2020
Bears had to turn it down because it was “too much too fast and too far.” Incredible. https://t.co/0dF49boV4G
The Bears are 1-1 on the year after beating fellow FCS side Austin Peay in the first college football game of the 2020 season and then losing badly on the road to UAB. A game against Army likely would’ve given the Bears another tally in the loss column, but we’ll never know.
UCA and Army weren’t the only schools to have games canceled this weekend due to COVID-19. Virginia vs. Virginia Tech, Memphis vs. Houston and Charlotte vs. UNC were among the other suspensions.
When asked about the BYU game earlier this week during his weekly virtual press conference, Army head coach Jeff Monken said it was the “right thing to do” to delay the game.
“We’ve discussed (rescheduling the BYU game) but it’s not something we’re committing to right now,” Monken said. “I think we’ve got to look at where we’re at here in a couple of weeks down the road and just see what happens with the rest of the football season. There’s certainly a lot of unknowns and a lot of possibilities as we get into the weeks to come – we look at the other games, particularly the C.I.C. games, and the effects of what might happen with this virus and what we need to do with each open weekend that we have. I think we’ve kind of got to consider that.
“We would love to play that game, they’re a great team and it would be a great opportunity for our program to play a team of that caliber. If we can do it, we’ll try to do it but right now we’ve got our schedule pretty set.”
Unless something wild and unexpected happens within the next 36 hours or so, the No. 22 Black Knights will play again on Sept. 26, at No. 13 Cincinnati.