Monday’s announcement is aligned with the planned 2015 consolidation of Southern Poly with Kennesaw State University, as announced by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in November.
Southern Poly currently fields four sports teams — baseball, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s soccer —which compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference.
Southern Poly will continue to support the affected teams as they complete the remainder of their
seasons. In total, there are 88 SPSU student-athletes, 11 fulltime coaches and three full-time administrative personnel directly affected by the decision to discontinue the program.
All active scholarships will be honored for affected SPSU student-athletes who choose to continue their education at Southern Poly in the 2014-15 academic year, and subsequently at the new consolidated Kennesaw State. In addition, the student-athletes will be provided the opportunity to try out for Kennesaw State teams.
Southern Poly officials also will assist any student-athlete interested in transferring to another school to continue their athletic career. Per NAIA and NCAA rules, student-athletes who transfer because their athletic program was discontinued may compete immediately and not have to sit out a season.
“Out of concern for our student-athletes, coaches and staff, we wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible to provide them with enough time to explore the various options available to them,” Southern Ploy athletic director Matt Griffin said. “We also respect the planning and scheduling implications this creates for the conference and wanted to make sure that SSAC officials also had enough time to prepare for next season.”
In addition to addressing the needs of the student-athletes, Southern Poly officials also will provide all employees affected by the changes with access to a full range of support services, including job search assistance, employee relations specialists and access to counseling services.
“We are committed to the academic and athletic success of all the student-athletes at Kennesaw State University and at Southern Polytechnic State University,” Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams said. “We will work in every way possible with those affected by this decision to ensure their success either here or at other universities.”