SIAC announces suspension of 2020 fall sports, affects Kentucky State University

Conference plans is to seek eligibility relief for those student-athletes impacted by this interruption

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Courtesy: KSU Athletics

ATLANTA, Ga. (July 9, 2020) – The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) has made the very difficult decision to extend the suspension of all sporting and championship events through the Fall of 2020. This decision was primarily predicated on the overarching concern shared by all SIAC member institutions with regard to the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, students, staff, fans and other campus stakeholders. When the initial decision was made by the SIAC to suspend intercollegiate athletics last spring, the conference harbored a measure of cautious optimism in the hope that meaningful progress would occur in connection with the continued spread of coronavirus.

As of today, and as COVID-19 infections surge throughout the country in general and the southeastern region in particular, it would be difficult to fairly and responsibly conclude that meaningful progress has been made at this time.

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SIAC Council of President Chairman George T. French, Jr., remarked that “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.  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.”

SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore added, “The action taken by our conference to suspend fall sports was informed by a core desire on the part of our SIAC member institutions to make every effort to protect and mitigate COVID-19 related health and safety risk exposure to our students, coaches, and staff during this uncertain and unpredictable environment.  It is our intention to seek eligibility relief for those student-athletes impacted by this interruption similar to that relief which was accorded to 2020 Spring sport student-athletes whose seasons were interrupted during the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Further, SIAC institutions are committed to assessing the possibility of moving some fall sports, including football, into the spring semester. Certain SIAC institutions may be accorded the latitude to continue to participate in intercollegiate athletics based on preexisting commitments which may be unique to those particular colleges and universities, however those institutions will not be competing for championships during the Fall of 2020.

Finally, the SIAC and The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) have prepared a joint statement regarding this matter.

“The CIAA and SIAC both appreciate and understand the significant impact that today’s announcements had in regard to the status of 2020 Fall sports. Both the CIAA and SIAC enjoy athletic related events, traditions, and rivalries that date back over one-hundred years.  However, in light of the increased health and safety risks confronting much of the country, today the CIAA and SIAC affirm that the welfare of our student-athletes is sacrosanct and must preempt all other considerations when evaluating any return to competition efforts.”

About the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

The SIAC is a NCAA athletic conference consisting primarily of historically black colleges and universities with headquarters in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The SIAC includes, (Albany State University, Benedict College, Central State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morehouse College, Savannah State University, Spring Hill College, and Tuskegee University), which are located within a contiguous six-state footprint (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio). The SIAC sponsors seven men’s and six women’s sports and is a proud member of the NCAA Division II. For more information, visit www.thesiac.com.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com