The Citadel released its 12-game schedule for the 2019 college football season on Thursday, but questions remain about the Nov. 23 date for the Wofford game at the Bulldogs' Johnson Hagood Stadium.
As scheduled, that date would fall during Thanksgiving furlough for the military school's Corps of Cadets; the Thanksgiving break begins Nov. 22. Thanksgiving is on Nov. 28.
That would seem to prevent the Corps of Cadets from attending the game in uniform. The school's Board of Visitors adopted a policy in 2004 requiring the Corps to attend all scheduled home football games.
Citadel athletic director Mike Capaccio said that he is trying to get the date of the game changed.
"We're trying to work on that," he said. "Right now, it is what it is and we're working on it."
Capaccio said he planned to address the issue at Southern Conference meetings next week. The SoCon assigns the dates for league games.
"We're hoping to change the date of the game, but with conference agreements it's difficult to do," he said. "This is something a lot of schools have to deal with at times, playing games when they are in breaks and things like that. We'll have some conversations about it next week at the conference meetings."
The Citadel's open date for 2019 is on Nov. 9, but Wofford has a game at Mercer on that date. Wofford's schedule shows open dates on Sept. 7 and Oct. 12; the Bulldogs have games on both those dates.
The Citadel's Board of Visitors set a policy regarding the Corps of Cadets' attendance at home games in 2004. That season, the Bulldogs played Western Carolina on Nov. 20 during Thanksgiving break. The Corps of Cadets did not attend, and a crowd of just 3,874 fans witnessed the Bulldogs' 17-0 victory.
At a Board of Visitors meeting that same day, the late Col. Harvey Dick, the assistant commandant of cadets, made the following motion: "That the Corps of Cadets be in uniform and be present at all scheduled home football games."
The minutes of the meeting then state:
"Discussion on the motion included whether the matter is one that the Board should set policy or one that the Board should provide guidance. The President (Gen. John S. Grinalds) stated that he sensed the feeling of the Board and he favored a motion to ensure the Board’s direction is in the record. The motion was unanimously carried."
The Citadel has not played a home game during Thanksgiving break since then, which means the Bulldogs usually play their regular-season finale on the road.
The Citadel (5-6 last season) begins the 2019 season with games against visiting Towson and at Elon, both FCS playoff teams last season. Towson is slated to return quarterback Tom Flacco, who accounted for four touchdowns, running for 185 yards and passing for 253, in a 44-27 win over the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs then go to Georgia Tech on Sept. 14, a guarantee game against an ACC foe worth $400,000 to The Citadel. The non-conference slate concludes with a Sept. 21 game against Charleston Southern and new coach Autry Denson.
The SoCon slate begins Sept. 28 at Samford, and includes road games at Furman, ETSU and Chattanooga. Home conference games are set with VMI (Parents Day on Oct. 5), Western Carolina, Mercer (homecoming on Oct. 26) and Wofford.
Season tickets for the 2019 season go on sale Feb. 4.
The Citadel 2019 football schedule
Aug. 31 — Towson
Sept. 7 — at Elon
Sept. 14 — at Georgia Tech
Sept. 21 — Charleston Southern
Sept. 28 — at Samford
Oct. 5 — VMI (Parents' Day)
Oct. 12 — Western Carolina
Oct. 19 — at Furman
Oct. 26 — Mercer (Homecoming)
Nov. 2 — at ETSU
Nov. 16 — at Chattanooga
Nov. 23 — Wofford