JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Students weighed in Tuesday night on making a big change at ETSU. The Student Government Association discussed legislation to possibly support a return to football on campus.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, 29 student senators met inside the Culp Center on the campus of East Tennessee State university to hear a second reading of a resolution that supports a football team in ETSU athletics. Their vote represents the voice of the student body to university officials, and we learned that voice has two different tones.
It's the big question on campus -- is it time to dust off the shoulder pads and bring football back to life here at ETSU?
If you ask sophomore Lisa Edwards, that question is answered with a quick 'yes.' "I think it would be awesome, because I'm a big football fan and I feel like it's something that's kind of missing here," she said.
But bringing back Buccaneer football also means a hit to the wallet, one that will fall on the backs of students. The Student Government Association's resolution for football support includes a fee of $125 per student each semester to support the team.
For some ETSU students like Kaitlyn Anthony, it's a fair cost that would be worth added school spirit and experience. "Football was a big thing for me because I was wanting to go to UT or MTSU," Anthony said. "I was wanting to go to the games and it's just something that you do as a student [at ETSU]."
But not all students feel that way. Barry Dove, Jr. tells us with tuition already rising each year, a football team isn't something he's ready to shell out more money for. "UT's still going to be the football team of choice in Tennessee regardless," he said. "Where are you guys going to get players and where are they going to stay? It's already hard enough to find parking and stuff like that."
The student voice is just that -- a voice of opinion. Whatever comes out of SGA is not the final say.
Associate vice present of stud affairs Sally Lee explains: "A resolution of this nature would go to the president and then the president would decide what he's going to do with it," she said. "A fee has to be approved at the Tennessee Board of Regents."
Also included in the SGA's resolution of support is the idea that football is critical part of athletics, and many conferences require a team for membership.