Johnson City

ETSU community anxiously awaits TBR vote

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - ETSU is one step closer to bringing football back to campus.

As we reported Wednesday, the finance committee of the Tennessee Board of Regents approved a $125 per semester student fee.    

Now, there's just one major vote left before the university could get the official green light. That will happen Friday morning, and we found out those for and against football are anxiously awaiting that vote.

"I love football," said ETSU student Paxton Aardema.

"It's going to raise school spirit," student Bailey Bradford told us.

"It'll put Johnson City on the map," said Drew Johnson, another ETSU student.

The expectations are high, but Buccaneer football may no longer just be a thing of the past.

With the Tennessee Board of Regents' finance and business operations committee approval of a $125 a semester student fee, there's just one more vote for a green light.

"If this is given a positive consideration on Friday, then we'll spend the next couple days dotting our 'i's' and crossing our 't's' and move forward with some sort of major announcement next week," ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland told News 5 over the phone.

Now all ears are on what the TBR will decide Friday morning.

"It's a big step. It's [a] make us or break us type step," said C.M. Boggs, the vice president of the Buccaneer Football and Friends Foundation.

His group has been working eight years to raise interest of bringing football back to ETSU.    

"I think everybody's looking forward to it. We can't wait," Boggs added.

The anticipation is building on campus, too.

"It's very suspenseful, you know. A lot of us, we're just really wanting it to happen," said Drew Johnson.

But not from everybody wants TBR approval.

The football debate continues to make headlines in the student newspaper. The East Tennessean reported that on Wednesday, a petition that would put the football decision to a student vote failed by about 800 signatures. 1500 were needed,but only about 700 were approved.

"I signed that petition," said ETSU student Corntey Cagle.

Cagle and friend Katie Blunt told us they don't see football making money on campus or adding extra school spirit, so they don't want to pay for it.

"I hope that it's not approved, honestly," said Cagle. "[I want the TBR] to see what we see from it," added Blunt.

Dr. Noland told us over the phone, just like Wednesday's meeting, he expects thorough discussion on the topic of football.

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