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Jun 02, 2014 03:29 AM EDT

CSU Fires Professor for Appearing With a Weird Beard on a Beer Can

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Did you ever wonder if growing a beard could land you in trouble? Well, it has cost a professor his job at the Charleston Southern University.

Paul Roof was fired from the position of associate professor of sociology, Friday, after his image was used by a local brewing company, "Holy City Brewing", on a beer can.

The image in question appears on Holy City's Chucktown Follicle Brown, where Roof sports a curling, coiffured beard and white cowboy hat. The photo was taken by a Las Vegas-based professional photographer, Greg Anderson, during freestyle portion of the 2013 Beard and Moustache National Championships in New Orleans.

Roof, founder of the Holy City Beard & Moustache Society, wasn't aware of the photo being used on the can until the bottling of the beer was already in production. When Holy City approached Roof for the image, the professor gave them a go-ahead.

At the time of his termination, Roof was told that the beard was not in accordance with the Christian environment and principles. But for the professor, Christianity revolves around two things - caring for others and forgiving those who have committed an offense.

Claiming to be an unfair dismissal, Roof told News 2, "My image and likeness, which I do not own, that I've never received compensation for and it was a surprise for me that it was put on a beer can by Holy City Brewing."

Phil Olsen, a Lake Tahoe lawyer and organizer of the beard championships, is surprised at the University's decision. Olsen said that sporting such a beard at an event is similar to that of wearing a Halloween costume. And, it is not part of Roof's everyday attire.

Olsen hopes that the professor gets reinstated at the University.

A well-wisher of the Professor, Josh Black, was disappointed with the news. "He was a positive role model that showed passion and charity while being a beer icon in a college town. That kind of representation should be rewarded."

Besides Holy City beer can, Roof's image was also used at Dig South and the Young Life worship services.

"As a sociologist who studies popular culture & symbolic interaction the diverse areas where the image appears makes it a great educational tool," said Roof, The Post and Courier reports.

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