JOHNSON CITY — After an impassioned speech by East Tennessee State President Dr. Brian Noland and over one hour of spirited, formal discussion by representatives of the school’s Student Government Association senate, ETSU alumni, fans and students received an answer almost 10 years in the making Tuesday evening.
On the oft-discussed subject of football, the students had their say. Twenty-two, five and one. Yes, no and abstained.
The first step towards a football revival at ETSU is in the books thanks to confirmation of the resolution, approving a $125 per semester fee hike to support a football program at the school.
“The students acted today and displayed leadership, encouragement and conviction I cannot begin to describe,” said Noland. “Now the community has to come together to support the decision made by our students. I have full faith in all of the Buccaneers across the country. I have talked with a number of alum and current and former coaches.
“Assuming this is approved by the Board of Regents, and they are our governing body, at the end of March. We’re looking forward to great things at ETSU.”
With the student vote in the books, Noland was scheduled to discuss the results with faculty members and gauge their opinions this week as well as donors and members of the community before making a presentation to the Tennessee Board of Regents at the end of March. Approval of football’s return by the state’s governing education board would clear the way for admission into a new conference such as the Southern Conference, Ohio Valley Conference or Colonial Athletic Association as the president mentioned.