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Band of Pride comes under fire for perceived insult

March 26, 2015

 

RACHEL MAXWELL
Staff Reporter

 

Some are questioning whether the Louisiana Tech Band of Pride is a band of class after the band led a chant at a basketball game between Tech and the University of Alabama at Birmingham that mocked UAB administration’s recent decision to end its football program.

 

The band, which began to chant, “We have football,” during the game, was quickly joined by Tech’s student section.

 

Keiera Bell, a piccolo player who did not attend, said she resents being painted with the same brush as those who participated.

 

“It puts a bad look on the Tech band,” the sophomore journalism major said. “It looks like none ofus have class, when it was only a few that did it.”

 

However, Bell, along with many students, does not feel the chant was offensive.

 

“Then again, they only said factual things. I think the things they have said about us since the incident are worse than the original chant,” Bell said.

 

“Banter always happens at basketball games, it shouldn’t have been so surprising that something like this happened,” Alek Gonzalez, a music major, said.

 

Dakota Dupont, a Tech cheerleader, said she feels the band was justified in saying what they did.

 

“I feel like our band had every right to chant about us having football,” the sophomore business and marketing major said. “The UAB fans were very hostile toward us and the band. Since it was held there they had a lot of people there and they had horrible sportsmanship.”

 

Chris Schemas, a sophomore electrical engineering major, said he agreed that what they said was less malicious than other things said at the game.

 

“It may have been distasteful, but it was mild compared to other things we heard at this game and others,” said Schemas, a trumpeter.

 

Schemas said he found it very surprising that it was Tech’s chant that made headlines, when the home team’s fans were themselves attacking the man responsible for cutting the football program.

 

“UAB’s main chant throughout the game was ‘Fire Ray Watts’, their University president, They had signs made and everything,” Schemas said. “We didn’t attack anyone personally with what we said. They were chanting about their own president.”

 

One thing all members of the band agreed on was they were trying to do their job at the game.

 

“The band is supposed to interact and get everyone in the stadium pumped up,” Bell said. “We usually don’t say anything rude and just try to be funny.”

 

Schemas echoed Bell’s sentiment the band was misinterpreted when they were only trying to make the game more fun.

 

“UAB’s fans were really loud—there were around 5,000 of them,” Schemas said. “The band was trying to be creative and make some noise for Tech; we’re used to being the fun band. It just got taken the wrong way this time.”

 

Email comments to ram049@latech.edu.

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