Albany State's magical 2013 season is officially over.
The SIAC has announced there will not be a Pioneer Bowl this season, after the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association decided not to participate.
"Although we are deeply disappointed for Albany State University, the team we selected to participate, and their student-athletes, we must respect the wishes of our partner's decision not to play the game this year," said SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore.
The Golden Rams earned the bowl bid by beating Miles in last week's SIAC Title Game.
"While our team, student body, alumni and fans were looking forward to playing another football game, it will not diminish the outstanding year enjoyed by our student-athletes, coach Mike White and the entire Albany State University football staff," says ASU athletic director Dr. Richard Williams.
Saturday's CIAA title game was canceled after a fight between players from Virginia State and Winston-Salem State left the WSSU quarterback injured the day before the game.
WSSU received a bid into the Division II playoffs, while the CIAA ruled Virginia St. ineligible for postseason play.
It's a tough break for the Golden Rams seniors, who are now realizing they have already played their final game.
"We were planning on playing it, and we were planning on finishing our season off and winning that game," says senior LB Marcavius Dudley. "But it all comes with business."
The small silver lining for the team's seniors is they won a conference title in their final game.
"I'm trying to get around it, but there's no way around it. It's hurtful," says Dudley. "But at the same time, it's a way to finish. That's how every senior wants to finish their season."
Commissioner Moore says he believes the cancellation is only for this year.
"Moving forward, I am confident that we will be able to work together to ensure that this historic football game will be played again next year," he says.
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