Rice University’s Matching Owl Band is being questioned after the group may have gone too far during Friday’s halfime show at football game against Baylor University. The Texas school has been in the news lately for several sexual assault cases, and it looks like Rice’s marching band called them out on it. As seen in the video below, the band formed an “IX” and a star, which appears to be in reference to sexual assault cases reported at Baylor and their now-former President Ken Starr. The formation was done right in front of the Baylor fans section of the stadium.
Check it out:
Starr was removed earlier this year after the university failed to properly investigate several sexual assault claims against members of the football team. Because of it, several of the victims filed Title IX lawsuits against Baylor for negligence.
“There are nine judges on the Supreme Court or is it?” the stadium announcer said before the band formed the IX. When the team formed the star, “Hit the Road, Jack” promptly started to play.
While ESPN reports that the marching band is known for their jokes, people aren’t taking the performance lightly. An angry Baylor fan reportedly approached the band post-halftime show, causing Rice officials to release an official statement.
The Marching Owl Band, or MOB, has a tradition of satirizing the Rice Owls’ football opponents. In this case, the band’s calling attention to the situation at Baylor was subject to many different interpretations. Although the band’s halftime shows are entirely the members’ projects with no prior review by the university administration, we regret any offense, particularly if Baylor fans may have felt unwelcome in our stadium. While we know that the MOB did not intend in any way to make light of the serious issue of sexual assault, we are concerned that some people may have interpreted the halftime performance in that vein. Sexual assault is a matter of serious concern on campuses across the nation, and all of us have an obligation to address the matter with all the tools at our disposal. The MOB sought to highlight the events at Baylor by satirizing the actions or inactions of the Baylor administration, but it is apparent from the comments of many spectators and Baylor fans that the MOB’s effort may have went too far.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the band also formed an “N,” with the announcer saying “‘N’ stands for knowledge if you are educated in Waco.” Not going to lie… I did laugh at that.
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