Appalachian State students, faculty protest focus on athletics

Appalachian State students, faculty protest focus on athletics
Appalachian State University squared off against one of its biggest rivals Thursday night.    
The game was nationally televised, but before kickoff there was controversy on the campus in Boone.  
Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty was with dozens of students who were protesting the school's focus on college athletics.
The protest took place right across the street from Kidd Brewer Stadium, where ASU played Georgia Southern.
Some of the students said the university's priorities are out of line.
"We're protesting for the bigger issues of how funding is allocated at universities and so much goes to athletics," said student Nina Rhoades.
"I just think that the school should re-prioritize academics over things that are not the primary reason for attending a college campus,” said student Buka Ibeziako.
ASU professor Michael Behrent understands the students’ frustration. He supports student athletes, but admitted that the head football coach makes nearly eight times as much as he does teaching history.
"The legislature has scandalously cut back resources for us. We're passing on the cost to the students and yet moving fees to athletics. I don't think that makes sense,” Behrent said.
Alumni showing up for the game Thursday said football brings in revenue and national exposure for the university.
"I think it pales in comparison to the big picture. It is money well spent. And I'm here to see us beat Georgia Southern tonight,” said alumnus Cullen Cameron. “This is a special place. We all come up here to enjoy it and that's what I'm here to do."
"Valuing the transparency of the budget process, Chancellor Everts has announced her plan to hold a series of budget hearings for the spring semester,” Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Hank Foreman said in a statement.
He added that the meetings will be open to all members of the Appalachian community -- students, faculty and staff.

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