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Lambuth Football Shutdown Leaves Georgia State With Scheduling Challenge

When Lambuth announced that it would be closing its doors on June 30, 2011 and ceasing sports, the Georgia State football team loses an opponent and, more importantly, a home game. So what's the Panthers next move?

It was late Sunday afternoon that I received an email from a contact at the Jackson Sun (Tennessee), who used words like "financial disrepair" and "a shutdown is imminent." This was beyond concerning for a Georgia State team who was looking to avenge its first-ever loss to the private school with 750 students.

On April 14, 2011, Lambuth President Bill Seymour took to the microphone and announced the school will be closing on June 30 of this year. With the school closing, it was announced that all sports will cease as well after the spring semester. Ouch. So much for the revenge game after LU defeated Georgia State 23-14 at the Georgia Dome last September. 

So where does the Georgia State football team go from here? Thankfully, there are/were plans in place. 

In scanning several schedules, the most logical choice is fellow FCS member Gardner-Webb of the Big South Conference located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. The contract can be worked out for a home game during the Runnin' Bulldogs currently scheduled BYE week and the Panthers would likely return for a date in 2012 or 2013.

I fully expect this situation to be resolved in the coming weeks after the scheduling conflict with the Atlanta Falcons is cleared up.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.