After nearly two weeks of speculation, officials at Savannah State University have formally announced plans to leave NCAA Division I competition and membership in the historically black Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
In a release, Savannah State President Cheryl D. Dozier said that the school was no longer in a financial position to support premier athletic membership and that the move will support stronger student athletics and fiscal sustainability of its programs. The announcement spurred a reaction from SSU alumni committed to raising the funds necessary for the school to remain as a mid-major athletic brand.
“While I am extremely proud of the progress our athletes and coaches have made at the Division I Level, it is not financially feasible for us to continue,” said Dozier.
Officials did not announce a timetable or specific destination for conference reaffiliation. SSU last competed in Division II as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and joined Division I in 2002.
Since 2012, the school has captured regular season and tournament titles in men’s and women’s basketball and baseball but has languished as a football mid-major football program for nearly 25 years. Since an 8-4 finish in 1992, Tigers surpassed three wins in a single season only once, in 2008 when the Tigers finished 5-7 under former head coach Robby Wells.