LSU athletic department looks foolish once again w

  • The LSU athletic department has once again made itselfa target forridicule.LSU fans who scratched their heads at last season’s now have to wonder what the school was thinking with its latest move: It has banned halftime performances from opponents’ marching bands at Tiger Stadium. The new policy, of course, will not affect the Tiger Band.MORE: The school’s reasoning? The field at Tiger Stadium (which has the sixth-largest capacity in college football) is too smalland poses a potential threat for band members, players and/orfans.Its a safety i sue, school spokesman MichaelBonnette said, . We dont have room down there for both bands. In order for bands to perform at half, theyve got to come down to the field before the first half ends. Thats a lot of people on the sideline.LSU did not comment on whether the rule was put in place because of previous incidents caused by opponents’ bands, either with LSU players or fans. None has been reported.LSU’s Tiger Stadium/GettyThis move, at best, makes the school look as if it made an ill-informed, poorly thoughtout decision based on a threat that may not actually exist. At worst, it makes the school look like terrible practitioners of sportsmanshipand suggests its players and fans are incapable of conducting themselves in a civil manner ().MORE: But this isn’t about LSU. This is about theyoung men and women who bust their tails throughout the summer and fall for the opportunity to put on a show in front of potentially thousands of people. LSU has taken this opportunity from thousands of such students.The Jacksonville State Marching Southerners, who weregoing to travel to Baton Rouge, La., to play in the Tigers’ home opener, : Ken Bodiford, theband’s director, cannot justify spending $120,000 in travel fees to move the band to a venue where they won’t even perform at halftime.The director for Alabama’s Million Dollar Band has i sued a statement that he will only bring a pep band.One ofthe things that makes college football great that makes it stand out from other sports that might grab fans’ attention is the pageantry and tradition inherent in the sport.That pageantry is in no small measure a result ofmarching bands, which should be able to see some payoff for their hard work regardle s of whatever lame reason LSU comes up with.Perhaps LSU has time to reverse its decision, or at least come up with some statistics anything that can explain this move. The athletic department can stick to its decision, of course, but it would not bea good look at all for a department that represents one of the most storied programs in college football.Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time the athletic department has looked bad.

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