West Virginia's band won't play Saturday, and West Virginia fans are not happy
Only Maryland's band will play during Terps home game at M&T Bank Stadium
Below are two facts about Maryland’s opponent this Saturday. One you probably know; the other you may not:
1. West Virginia is a football school, to at least the degree, if not more, that Maryland is a basketball school.
2. West Virginia treasures its marching band. Treasures it so fiercely that its own "Pride of West Virginia" website advertises CDs of "season highlights" — of horns and big band hats, mind you, not sacks and big pass plays — and features a squinty Dana Holgersen asking you to give money, please, so that the band can go to big games.
Like, say, in Baltimore. At the bottom of the band’s website, underneath a panel that reads, “2013 Pride Travel Fund campaign kicks off,” there’s this: “[T]he band also is planning to travel to Baltimore Sept. 21 when the Mountaineers take on the University of Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.”
At the top of the band’s website, underneath an all-caps headline, there’s this newer, more relevant item: “We regretfully announce that the University of Maryland will not allow the WVU Band to perform on the field at the WVU vs. Maryland game in Baltimore on Saturday. Members of the WVU Band will still travel to the game to play in the stands to enthusiastically support the Mountaineer Football team. Thank you for your support!”
Because West Virginia is a football school, and because West Virginia treasures its marching band, its fans do not take kindly to being told where their band can and cannot play, especially at stadiums they believe, incorrectly, to be neutral.
M&T Bank Stadium, site of Saturday’s Terps-Mountaineers clash, is not Byrd Stadium, the technical home of Maryland football. That does not mean that Baltimore is a neutral site. Though the stripes of colors filling the stadium come Saturday should be a healthy mix of red-and-white and gold-and-blue, make no mistake: This is a home game for the Terps. As such, only Maryland can decide which bands will play. As you’ll see, what we have is a failure to communicate just that.
Classless move by @umterps... Not allowing the WVU marching band to perform on a neutral field after spending thousands to travel. Pathetic.— Zack Long (@zackattack_21) September 16, 2013
Hey @umterps why can't the WVU band perform at the game?? That's a big time amateur hour move on your part— Jason Perdue (@jason1040) September 16, 2013
@umterps should be ashamed that they won't let the WVU Band perform on a neutral site. If your band came to WVU, they would've been allowed— Sara (@Boppealope) September 16, 2013
UPDATE (3:06 p.m.): Maryland released the following statement on the band situation.
"It is our practice at Maryland to only have the Maryland Band perform on the field during our home football games. While the visiting team bands do not perform on the field, we are always pleased to set aside a section of seats within the visiting team section for them and we encourage the visiting team band to attend and perform from their seats for the enjoyment of their team and fans.
"We are following our standard practice with the West Virginia Band on Saturday and we have set aside seats for them near the field. We communicated this information to the band representatives at West Virginia last June in order to allow them plenty of time for appropriate planning."
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