Rice Band Mocks Baylor Over Sex Assault Scandal

September 19, 2016

Baylor University's football team defeated that of Rice University Friday night, but the Rice band may have attracted the most attention. In an attempt to remind Baylor fans of the university's now admitted mishandling of numerous sex assault charges against athletes, the band formed a IX (as a reference to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972) in front of the Baylor fan area. The IX was followed by a star formation, while playing the song "Hit the Road, Jack," an apparent reference to Ken Starr, who left the presidency of Baylor amid the scandal of the university's handling of sex assaults.

Rice issued a statement Saturday distancing itself from the band's performance, saying, "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 gone too far."

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