SIAC to require all athletes to be vaccinated

Sports

(WSAV) – The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) announced Tuesday that it would require all athletes to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to compete in any kind of sport.

This requirement extends to coaches, officials, marching bands and dance and cheer teams.

“Within the context of rising COVID-19 infection rates, student-athletes are a particularly vulnerable stakeholder group who, as a result of their athletic participation, are required to travel off-campus and compete against and interact with student-athletes on other campuses,” SIAC commissioner Gregory Moore said in a statement.

“The SIAC policy decision establishing vaccination as prerequisite to intercollegiate athletic competition participation is guided by the overarching interest to protect the health and safety of SIAC student-athletes, and was decided in the light of overwhelming data and evidence which has demonstrated the effectiveness of authorized COVID-19 vaccines combating coronavirus as well as its delta variant.”

Savannah State athletic director Opio Mashariki provided the following statement to WSAV.

“In light of the SIAC’s new return to play requirements, we are reviewing our procedures to make sure they align with that of the conference. We will provide further information upon completion of the review.”

Savannah State did not play any intercollegiate sports in the fall of 2020 and played a limited schedule in 2021 without any fans in attendance.

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