Savannah State announces plan for Division II return

Publish date:

(STATS) - Savannah State University has announced a plan to reclassify its athletic program from Division I to Division II, citing fiscal concerns.

The move, if approved by the NCAA, is expected to occur for the 2019-20 academic year. The Georgia school would end its membership in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which it joined in 2010.

"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," Savannah State president Cheryl D. Dozier said Monday.

Savannah State previously competed in Division II and was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1969-2000. The SIAC, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Peach Belt Conference are each considered a potential fit for the Tigers with a return to D-II.

Their teams would have fewer scholarships and operate within a lower athletic budget in Division II.

The football program has particularly struggled on the D-I level. Last season's 3-7 record marked just the second time the Tigers surpassed two wins since joining the FCS level in 2002.