When Pirates Become Eagles

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Thomas Jilk

The Latest

On Tuesday, March 7, the GSU/ASU Operational Working Group for athletics – the group that handles athletics-related consolidation issues – announced that it will recommend ending all Armstrong State University athletic competitions following this academic year.

If this recommendation is approved by the Consolidation Implementation Committee, all sports at Armstong State would cease to compete following the ongoing 2017 spring baseball, tennis and golf seasons.

A press release indicated that roster changes occurring since the announcement of the consolidation have already been impactful enough for the recommendation to be issued.

According to the release, “most sports will no longer have enough student-athletes to adequately support a full season, placing remaining student-athletes in potentially harmful playing situations.”

According to WTOC, the Operational Working Group for athletics is also working on a structure recommendation for the new athletics department at Georgia Southern.

Last Week

On Friday, March 3, the Consolidation Implementation Committee – which is responsible for approving recommendations on details regarding the consolidation process of Armstrong State and Georgia Southern – approved two measures related to athletics.

According to a press release jointly written by representatives from both schools, Armstrong State student-athletes were given immediate open transfer status by the ASU athletic administration to maximize each student’s athletic eligibility.

The press release also stressed that all scholarships were to be honored for student-athletes so long as their academic progress was sufficient.

“This plan will allow student-athletes who are affected by the consolidation to continue their education without bearing an additional financial burden,” the press release stated.

End of an Era

The Armstrong State athletic program’s 50th year of operations will also be its final year as the process of consolidation with Georgia Southern continues. The program won 13 national titles on the NCAA Division II level competing in the Peach Belt Conference.

The Armstrong State women’s tennis team is currently ranked No. 1 in the country at the Division II level and has won the last two NCAA Division II national championships.

While the Armstrong State athletic program will end, the Savannah campus will keep its title as the Armstrong Campus within the new Georgia Southern University.