Carthel Supporters Gather on Campus


School is back in session, but for many Buffs, there's a feeling that something is missing.

"He made it a family, the football team a family. He put wins on the board, he brought money into this school," Dawn Pringle, a former WTAMU student said.      

Supporters of recently fired football coach Don Carthel gathered outside Old Main on the WTAMU campus to send a message to the administration.

Many of them they left footballs with messages on them, like "Good coach. Best Ever. He made football fun to watch again."

"I just wanted to come out and show my support for him, and also kind of stake for the incompetent leaders that we have at our university now," Brad Riffel, another former student said, "This required more of a hand slap. Instead they cut off his arm."

According to the University, Carthel was let go following an potential NCAA violation.

Carthel says he bought two players Rangers tickets, and told the administration he was reimbursed before the game. He encouraged the players to tell adminstrators the same. He says he was actually reimbursed days later.

But fans say, the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

"When you look at his legacy and all he's contributed, I mean you go to a game before he was here and there's like 50 people in the stands. And then his first year, completely changed the program and made the program. And then you fire him for two Rangers tickets," Justin Carpenter, a former student at the rally said.

As for the upcoming season, fans are apprehensive. "I don't have high expectations at all," Rick Upton said. 

"It's just a sad time for the University I think, and especially for division two football," Pringle said. 

A sad time for many fans, with the season opener just weeks away.

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