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East Carolina U. defends firing newspaper adviser

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GREENVILLE, NC (AP) -- East Carolina University won't say why it fired the student newspaper's adviser, but is asking people to trust that it's not related to the paper's decision to print full-frontal photos of a streaker at a football game.

The Greenville university issued a statement from vice chancellor for student affairs Virginia Hardy saying the decision to replace newspaper adviser Paul Isom was correct, legal and unrelated to free-press issues.

Hardy's statement says the U.S. Constitution demands that public universities allow student journalists to make their own news decisions and learn from them without interference.

First Amendment groups have criticized East Carolina for firing Isom. He says his evaluations were positive but his relationship with administrators deteriorated after the streaker photos appeared in the campus newspaper two months ago.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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