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ECU Officials 'regret the actions' of Band Members' Protest

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — East Carolina officials say the school will not tolerate further protests after some band members kneeled while others performed the national anthem before a game.

Band director William Staub, School of Music director Christopher Ulffers and College of Fine Arts and Communication dean Christopher Buddo issued a joint statement Monday.

They say they "regret the actions" taken by the 19 members who took a knee during the ceremonies before the game against Central Florida last week.

They say they expect the members of the Marching Pirates "will learn from this experience and fulfill their responsibilities." They call the protests "hurtful to many in our Pirate family and disrespectful to our country."

Fans booed the protestors after the anthem was completed, and Chancellor Cecil Staton quickly issued a statement affirming the band members' right to express themselves.

That statement came after athletic director Jeff Compher said his department is working with the university and the school of music after the incident. Compher said in a statement Monday that there have been "ongoing conversations" between the music and athletic departments and the university and says he's "confident that there will be a positive resolution" in the future.

Coach Scottie Montgomery, who was in the locker room with his team during the anthem, says he was made aware of the situation and trusts the university to handle it properly.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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