UPDATE: Savannah State University suspends fall sports

The SIAC assessing possibility of moving football to spring
Savannah State travels to Morehouse Saturday afternoon in SIAC play.
Savannah State travels to Morehouse Saturday afternoon in SIAC play.(WTOC)
Updated: Jul. 9, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah State Tigers won’t be playing sports this fall.

The SIAC announced the suspension of fall sports and championships Thursday afternoon, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Savannah State says they will be following the conference’s lead, suspending Tiger football, volleyball, and cross country.

“Our primary concern is always the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff, coaches and fans,” SSU athletic director Opio Mashariki said in a statement released by the school. “We also want to follow the lead of the conference office concerning the suspension of fall sports.”

SSU has scheduled a press conference with Mashariki and head football coach Shawn Quinn Friday afternoon.

The conference says it is assessing the possibility of moving some sports, including football, to the spring. Also, the conference says certain schools may be allowed to “participate in intercollegiate athletics based on preexisting commitments which may be unique to those particular colleges and universities.”

“The decision to extend the SIAC suspension into the Fall of 2020 was guided by the prevailing data, science as well as current Coronavirus infection trajectories,” SIAC Council of President Chairman George T. French, Jr. said in a statement released by the conference. “In light of these very difficult realities, and in the context of the overarching priority of all of my colleague SIAC presidents to protect the health, wellness and safety of all of our students and staff, we are confident that the decision announced today is consistent with those fundamental health and safety priorities.”

Savannah State says winter and spring sports are scheduled to take place as usual. The conference says it intends to seek eligibility relief for student-athletes impacted by the suspension, as the NCAA granted for spring student-athletes.

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