The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) announced the cancellation of conference play among its members for any sport with a fall championship. This decision directly impacts Kentucky State University and will have aftershocks across our campus community.
The SIAC has asserted student-athletes at member institutions cannot compete without violating the social distancing guidelines currently maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This decision does not apply to winter and spring athletic seasons, as those decisions will be made later in the year.
Kentucky State University respects the consensus of our conference leadership and member presidents in reaching this extraordinarily difficult but necessary decision. Be advised that campus and alumni leadership are hard at work developing new formats for campus activities, including homecoming and other traditional Thorobred events. It is our intention for Kentucky State University to be a sector leader in developing new models of campus-community engagement during this period of suspended conference competition.
As a fan of intercollegiate sports and president of one of the nation’s most important public historically black land-grant universities, I can confirm the current global COVID-19 pandemic is fraught with multiple fault lines. There are significant tensions operating in every effort to balance the science surrounding the current health crisis and the campus’ traditional activities and operations.
Notwithstanding the announcement from the SIAC, Kentucky State University will honor all of the athletic scholarships extended to our current and incoming students and have begun the process to guarantee no loss of eligibility. The campus will seek safe alternatives for our student-athletes to remain competitive and engaged in amateur sportsmanship. Kentucky State Thorobreds are #Bred2Win.
While our campus community and stakeholders may be rightfully disappointed with the cancellation of conference play by the SIAC, we should equally understand and accept the decision was made to ensure the safety and well-being of our Thorobred student-athletes.
I personally commit to exploring every possibility for resetting the fall sports competition schedule via my roles as a member of the SIAC Council of Presidents and the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. In fact, there are already meaningful proposals being advanced to field intercollegiate play by conference members.
Remember, we are Thorobred Strong and must remain relentless in our collective efforts to move #KSUForward into an exciting future.