Savannah State University (SSU) President Cheryl Davenport Dozier today announced intentions to pursue membership in the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), pending NCAA approval. SSU’s application to begin the official transition to NCAA Division II will be submitted by February 1, 2018.
SSU competed in the SIAC from 1968 until 2000 when the university was approved for Division I membership as an independent. Savannah State was accepted into the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) as a provisional member in 2010 and attained full membership a year later.
“With the input of the athletics transition taskforce and the athletics department, it was determined that the SIAC was the best fit for SSU and its students,” said Dozier. “I look forward to renewing old SIAC rivalries and establishing new ones that will engage SSU Tiger fans.”
SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore stated: “Welcoming Savannah State University to the SIAC not only adds a 15th outstanding institution, but also restores important historic and geographic rivalries, which I’m certain SIAC alumni, students and fans will enjoy.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Savannah State University back to the SIAC,” stated Council of Presidents Chairman and Miles College President George T. French Jr. “The historical ties shared by Savannah State and the SIAC, coupled with a shared commitment to academic and athletic excellence, makes them a perfect fit for our great conference.”
Savannah State will become the 15th member of the SIAC, joining other Georgia colleges and universities including Albany State, Clark Atlanta, Fort Valley State, Morehouse and Paine, in conjunction with its other member institutions: Benedict, Central State, Claflin, Kentucky State, Lane, LeMoyne-Owen, Miles, Spring Hill, and Tuskegee.
Earlier this year, SSU announced its intent to leave MEAC at the end of the 2018-19 academic school year and to return to NCAA Division II Athletics. Following the announcement, an athletics transition taskforce was established to explore Division II conference options.
The SIAC, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., was established in 1913 and is the largest HBCU Conference in the United States. In addition to football, the SIAC sponsors baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball, women’s track & field, men’s track & field, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.