Recommendation approved to further blend ASU and GS athletics programs

Thomas Jilk

The Consolidation Implementation Committee (CIC) for Georgia Southern and Armstrong State Universities approved a recommendation by the Athletics Operational Working Group that allows some future Georgia Southern athletic events to be held on the Armstrong campus.

The approval, announced at a CIC meeting this week, marks another step forward in the process of consolidating the two universities’ athletics programs.

The recommendation, backed by GS athletic director Tom Kleinlein and ASU athletic director Lisa Sweany, says that athletic events will be held at the Savannah campus “contingent on availability of dates based on existing game contracts, future schedules and facilities.”

The CIC agreed that hosting some games on the Armstrong campus is a good way to begin to “unify” the two campuses and universities.

Other aspects of the approved recommendation include a statement supporting “access to all Georgia Southern athletic events … to current Armstrong State students, effective Fall 2017.”

In addition, the recommendation included support for transportation of ASU students, beginning Fall 2017, to and from certain GS football, basketball and baseball games.

Kleinlein said that when the schedule of athletic events for GS is put out for the 2017-2018 school year, it will be clarified which of those events bus transportation will be provided by GS between the campuses.

While the idea of ASU hosting GS athletic events doesn’t have an established start date, ASU students will now be able to attend GS sporting events even before the two schools are fully consolidated. This, in the committee’s eyes, gives ASU students – especially underclassmen – a head start on immersing themselves in the full scope of what will be the new Georgia Southern University.

The ASU student government president Nipuna Ambanpola, a junior economics major, voiced concern over the lack of focus as to the specifics with intramural and club sports being overlooked.

The committee members said that accommodations will be finalized for intramural and club sports in the future and that those sports will not be forgotten.

Julia Fechter contributed to this report.