SAVANNAH – Savannah State University (SSU) President Cheryl Davenport Dozier 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 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.
“We feel that the SIAC is a great fit for Savannah State University and its students,” said Dozier. “With the help of the Athletics Transition Taskforce, we have identified a conference that is attractive for its affordability as well as its fan base.”
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.”
Savannah State, a former member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, rejoins the conference becoming 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.
“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.”
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, a transition taskforce was established to explore Division II conference options.
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. was established in 1913 and is the largest HBCU Conference in the United States. In addition to football, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference sponsors baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, softball, women’s track & field, men’s track & field, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.
Established in 1890, Savannah State University is the oldest public historically black college or university in Georgia and the oldest institution of higher learning in the city of Savannah. The university’s 4,800 students select majors from 30 undergraduate and six graduate programs in three colleges — Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Sciences and Technology — and the School of Teacher Education.