News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, March 7, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- For months, the community has been asking, "Where's the A?" But today they're asking, "Where's the ASU?"
They're referring to pictures that were published in a GRU admissions view book. The pictures were of some ASU sports teams, but their jerseys were doctored so that "Augusta State" was wiped off.
"I just see our identity is gone," one student said.
Hurt, frustrated and mad -- these are just some of the emotions ASU students expressed after seeing the pictures in a new GRU brochure.
"That it's whited out, I think that's ridiculous, and I hate it," sophomore Lindsey Hudson said.
"It kinda disturbs me. To bring people to their school? Is this illegal?" freshman Bryan Harris asked jokingly.
It's not illegal, but you can tell these pictures were doctored.
The words "Augusta State" are supposed to be on the basketball jersey, and the ASU logo has been erased from many of the golf hats.
Many ASU students say seeing these pictures is another slap in the face, some even saying it makes them feel like they never even existed.
"Taking the name off is just like killing our identity pretty much. It's saying we're not there. ASU never existed is almost like what it's saying," one student said.
In a memo from Dr. Ricardo Azziz, the GRU president takes the blame saying, "we messed up!" Later, he writes, "mistakes will and do happen."
Many students say that's not good enough.
"I think that he's full of bologna. I mean, you can't mistakenly wipe the name off the jerseys. If it was a mistake, then someone's face would have been erased," Hudson said.
"This is throwing gasoline on a fire. He didn't take blame for anything. Look through that entire memo that is supposed to be apologetic and look for the word sorry or apologize. It's not there," ASU alumni Austin Rhodes said.
What it does say, "We must finalize our athletic logos and apparel for this coming season -- ensuring Augusta is consistently displayed on them."
In the eyes of skeptical students, only time will tell.
Dr. Azziz did say the admission books have been removed from use. While some feel Azziz did not apologize, GRU's vice provost did.
He sent out a statement saying, "This turned out to be an error in judgment, and for that, I apologize to the Augusta community, the athletes, their families, university supporters and the institution."