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Savannah State to drop athletics to Division II

Financial burdens forced the Tigers to make a difficult decision

NCAA Basketball: Savannah State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Savannah State is planning to reclassify all its athletic programs to Division II, the school has announced. The official move is pending NCAA approval.

The decision was made in hopes that Savannah State can best serve its student-athletes while remaining fiscally responsible, the school said. The reclassification, which will also end the university’s relationship with the MEAC, comes after the administration went through months of deliberations. Savannah State, the NCAA, and the MEAC have been in discussions for what it takes to make the upcoming transition as smooth as possible.

The Tigers have been a Division I member since 2002, and competed in basketball as an independent until joining the MEAC in 2010.

This will not be the first time the Tigers have competed at the Division II level — they are former members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). The SIAC could be a possible future landing place for Savannah State, as could the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which would offer a good fit regionally and competitively.

Per the school’s press release, the reclassification plan will become more clear over the new few months. As for now, the Savannah State Tigers await the NCAA’s decision in order for them to make their next move.