Opinion Columns & Blogs

Best to leave rival mascots out of halftime shows

Marching bands want to see their halftime shows go viral these days, but not the way Kansas State University’s did after Saturday’s football win against South Dakota. Instead of showing the award-winning band program at its best, the depiction of a confrontation between a University of Kansas Jayhawk and the Starship Enterprise looked like a sex act. It’s difficult to believe no members of the band staff or band anticipated how the formation would look and took steps to avoid something with such potential to embarrass the university. Marching band director Frank Tracz’s apology having proved insufficient, he earned a one-game suspension and K-State must pay a $5,000 fine to the Big 12 Conference for violating its sportsmanship policy. It seems like overkill, though, to also require future halftime shows be approved by representatives of K-State’s administration and athletic department. Even if censure is justified, censorship isn’t. One potential chilling effect of this mess wouldn’t be such a bad thing, though: if band directors at all levels think twice about including rival mascots in their shows. – Rhonda Holman