Albany State University Athletics responds to the SIAC’s decision to suspend fall 2020 sports

Albany State University Athletics responds to the SIAC’s decision to suspend fall 2020 sports
Albany State University Football (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is suspending all fall sports events.

That means no Albany State University football.

There's an undeniable sense of disappointment within the Albany State University athletics.

But, they support the SIAC’s decision to suspend 2020 fall sports, for the safety of their players and staff.

Head football coach Gabe Giardina told me the best thing they can do is be realistic about the situation.

Giardina told me this decision impacts more than just the football team.

“There are so many layers to this. It affects hotels and businesses here in Albany, I mean Golden Ram football is a part of this community and a part of our fabric as a community. So, it’s going to hurt on a bunch of different levels, but at the same time it’s the right decision and so we’ve just go to move forward,” said Giardina.

ASU commented on the SIAC’s announcement stating, “This decision helps maintain a safe campus for our students, fans, and supporters during this time. We know that our student-athletes were looking forward to competing this fall, and we share in their disappointment.”

The SIAC said they’re committed to assessing the possibility of moving some fall sports, including football, into the spring semester.

Giardina told me if it's safe to do so, he hopes it'll happen.

“I think there’s a great desire from all of our fellow SIAC institutions to do that. But I think if we’re six months from now if we’re no further along we’ve got to be realistic at that time, too. So, I think it’s just waiting and see. And we’re trying to use this as an opportunity as opposed to an adversity and trying to have a great response to the event that we’re currently experiencing,” said Giardina.

Incoming freshman offensive lineman Isaiah Donaldson said he was shocked when he learned the season was suspended.

“It just felt bad you know, for us incoming freshman. It’s really one of our bigger dreams in our life to have the opportunity to go play college ball. And as you get ready to go, you know, you get the news that your freshman year is probably going to get canceled so it’s just like, “Wow.‘” said Donaldson.

Giardina said they’ll continue voluntary workouts as if the season will resume in the spring semester.

He said there are still a lot of unknowns to work through at this time.

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