Southeast Missouri State president apologizes for drinking from beer bong before football game

The president of FCS school Southeast Missouri State has issued an apology for his actions before a football game on Sept. 15.

A video was taken of president Carlos Vargas drinking from a beer bong at a tailgate before the Redhawks’ game against Southern Illinois. Because this is 2018, someone was not only filming Vargas but that video ended up on social media.

He sent an apology email to the school on Friday and the apology statement was posted to the school’s website on Tuesday. In his statement, Vargas said he didn’t condone “excessive or binge drinking.”

During my attendance at a tailgate prior to the Southeast football game on September 15, I was observed being offered and accepting to drink beer from a beer bong, a device normally associated with excessive or binge drinking, which is conduct I do not condone.

The above action projects an image that I am not proud of, is not flattering, and certainly not expected from the president of Southeast Missouri State University. As president of this institution, I have the responsibility to show with words and deeds that I live by and uphold the values and principles that we work very hard to instill and strengthen in our university community, in particular, our students.

I made a poor decision, and, for my action, I apologize to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Southeast Missouri State University, an institution of which I am tremendously proud. Last, but not least, I apologize to the Board of Regents, and to the community at large. This serves to me as a reminder that I must always be mindful of my actions and behavior, and I can assure you this will not happen again.

A statement from board of regents president Donald LaFerla said that Vargas still had the board’s full support. A president of a university being disciplined for simply drinking from a beer bong at a tailgate would be quite the unique situation that would potentially incite a lot of blowback.

After this was brought to my attention, I spoke with University President Vargas who immediately accepted responsibility for his actions, and he assured me that this one incident is not reflective of a broader pattern of behavior. As an institution of higher education, we have an obligation to every member of our University community to assist them in good times and in bad; to take poor decision making and turn it into a teachable moment; and to focus on the person’s overall potential to do great things.

Vargas has been the school’s president since 2015.

Southeast Missouri State is an FCS school. (Getty Images)
Southeast Missouri State is an FCS school. (Getty Images)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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