Stanford band banned from traveling after probe found sexual hazing, ‘illegal substances’

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The bawdy Stanford band is at it again, but not in a risque-but-funny way this time around.

Late this past week, and following a lengthy investigation, the university announced that the band has been banned from traveling on road trips with various Cardinal sports teams for an entire year.  That means the band won’t travel with the Cardinal football team at all during the 2015 season.

The Stanford Daily wrote that “[t]he inquiry was initiated upon the voicing of concerns regarding band events between 2012 and 2015, according to the University,” and “that the allegations centered around the 2011-12 school year, when current seniors were freshmen.”

“The World’s Largest Rock-And-Roll Band,” as it’s self-described, will be permitted to play at all home sporting events.  And the reason for the ban?  From the San Francisco Chronicle:

A joint investigation by Stanford’s Organization Conduct Board and Title IX Office found the band had violated multiple school policies on alcohol, hazing and sexual harrassment.

The violations “included a tradition in which a band member was given an alcoholic concoction intended to make that individual vomit publicly; an annual trip in which some band members used illegal substances; and a band selection process in which individuals were asked a number of inappropriate questions on sexual matters,” the school said.

“The university’s objective is to ensure a safe and harassment-free environment while honoring the band’s traditions and its unique, irreverent identity,” said Deborah Golder, Stanford associate vice provost and dean of residential education, said in a statement. “We hope the band will use this outcome as a positive platform for further strengthening its culture and ensuring the band’s vibrancy and good stewardship in the years ahead.”

The band can appeal the decision, although it’s not expected to be a successful one if attempted.

And, for those who are unaware of antics of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) (official name) outside of The Big Game in 1982 in which a trombone player was trample by a cal player in one of the wildest finishes in college football history, allow the band’s Wiki page explain, after the jump:

  • In 1986, the University suspended the band from traveling to the UCLA football game scheduled on November 8, 1986 after incidents in previous games that season. First, on October 11, 1986, an infamous incident of public urination happened following the home football game against the University of Washington. Second, during the halftime show of the home USC game on October 19, 1986, the band spelled out “NO BALLZ”. Finally, for the next game they performed an anagram show and spelled out an anagrammed four-letter word (“NCUT”). After the UCLA game suspension was served, the band appeared at the Cal game wearing angel halos in an attempt to apologize and get invited to travel with the football team to a bowl game. The band attended the Gator Bowl that year, amid very close scrutiny.
  • In 1989, before an away game vs. USC, the USC Trojan Marching Band toilet-papered the Stanford tree mascot in the Coliseum tunnel before the pre-game show, resulting in a free-for-all between members of both bands and the mascot that had to be broken up by the referees.
  • In 1990, Stanford suspended the band for a single game after their halftime show at the University of Oregon criticized the logging of the spotted owl’s habitats in the northwest United States. The band used formations in the shape of a chainsaw and in the shape of the word OWL changing to AWOL. Governor Neil Goldschmidt (D-OR) issued a decree that the band not return to Oregon for several years; the band did not return until 2001. After the spotted owl incident, all halftime shows were reviewed and approved by Stanford’s Athletic Department.
  • In 1991, the University of Notre Dame banned the LSJUMB from visiting its campus after a halftime show at Stanford in which drum major Eric Selvik dressed as a nun and conducted the band using a wooden cross as a baton. (During the pregame show and first half of the game, the drum major had been dressed as an Orthodox Jew, where the wooden cross was part of a menorah-like baton.) After the halftime show, a female Notre Dame fan ran onto the field, approached from behind the unsuspecting Selvik, and forcibly ripped the nun habit off of his head. Selvik pursued and regained his habit from the attacker, who in the scuffle for the habit told the drum major he was “going to hell for this.”
  • In 1992, the Athletic Department pressured the LSJUMB to fire its announcers after one used the phrase “No chuppah, no schtuppa” at a San Jose State University game halftime show.
  • In 1994, the Band was disciplined after nineteen members skipped a field rehearsal in Los Angeles to play outside the L.A. County Courthouse during jury selection for the O. J. Simpson trial. The band’s song selection included an arrangement of The Zombies’ “She’s Not There.” Defense lawyer Robert Shapiro described the incident to the media as “a new low in tasteless behavior.” Later that year, during the halftime show of the football game against USC (where Simpson had played football and won the 1968 Heisman Trophy), band members drove a white Ford Bronco with bloody handprints around the Stanford Stadium track, an obvious allusion to the low-speed chase in which police followed a white Bronco carrying Simpson around the Los Angeles area.
  • In 1997, the Band was again disciplined for shows lampooning Catholicism and the Irish at a game against Notre Dame. The Band put on a show entitled “These Irish, Why Must they Fight?” Besides the mocking supposedly stereotypical Irish-Catholic behavior, there was a Riverdance formation, and a Potato Famine joke, drawing criticism for its “tasteless” portrayal of Catholics. Both the band and the Stanford President Gerhard Casper subsequently apologized for the band’s behavior. Subsequently, the Band was prohibited from playing at games against Notre Dame for two years.
  • In 2002 and 2006, the Band was sanctioned for off-the-field behavior, including violations of the University alcohol policy.
  • In 2004, the Band drew national attention and Mormon ire for joking about polygamy during a game against Brigham Young University. The Dollies appeared in wedding veils with the Band Manager of the time kneeling and “proposing” to each in turn as the announcer referred to marriage as “the sacred bond that exists between a man and a woman… and a woman… and a woman… and a woman… and a woman.” [10]
    The band’s high jinks were given a wider audience when they became the subject of Alan Alda’s appearance on the “Not My Job” segment on National Public Radio’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! on September 9, 2006.
  • In 2006, the band was suspended by Stanford administrators when their former “Band Shak” was vandalized. After moving into a new $2.8 million facility, the previous Shak, a trailer that served as a temporary home for the band, was found with broken windows and profanities spray painted on the walls. Administrators believed members of the Band were responsible for the damage, as the band had believed the trailer was to be demolished the next day. The Band was placed on a provisional status for several months, and had many privileges taken away for the duration of the suspension, including the right to be freely student-run. The band was also barred from performing at halftime of the 2006 Big Game as a result. However, the University two stated that November they would not press vandalism charges. In March 2007, the University exonerated the individual Band members involved in the incident. It also charged the Band $8,000 for damages (though it initially estimated damages of $50,000).[13] In July 2007, the Band was fully reinstated, and then two months later, the band’s alcohol probation was also lifted.
  • In 2009, the Band performed a field show at USC that openly criticized USC alum & Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, drawing ire from fans with lines like, “USC can’t take all of the credit for the successes of its students. After all, it takes a special kind of man to be wanted for sexual harassment, drug trafficking, tax evasion, prostitution, child abuse and disruptive flatulence. But that’s just the kind of captain of industry Joe Francis is.”
  • Organizers of the 2011 Orange Bowl banned the Band from performing their halftime show upon announcement of its theme: “Recent Events in the Pro Sports World in Miami”; this was done out of concern of hurting the feelings of South Florida athletes such as Lebron James, who had joined the Miami Heat the previous summer.

 

LSU lands commitment from nation’s No. 1 cornerback

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LSU rarely loses a player it wants out of Louisiana. Now add in that said player isn’t just from Louisiana, but lives in Baton Rouge. Now add in that he’s regarded as the No. 1 player at his position. Yeah, this kid was never going anywhere else.

Derek Stingley, Jr., committed to LSU on Wednesday, beating out Texas and Florida.

Rivals ranks Stingley as the No. 1 corner and No. 1 overall player in its 2019 rankings. Stingley stands as the No. 1 corner and the No. 8 overall player on the 247Sports ratings. ESPN is more bullish on Stingley, slotting him as just the No. 3 cornerback and the No. 67 overall player. (247Sports lists Lewis Center, Ohio, defensive end Zach Harrison as its No. 1 overall player, while ESPN favors Westlake Village, Calif., defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.)

Stingley was previously committed to LSU, but de-committed to take his time and make an informed decision. All that information led him to the exact same conclusion.

“There are a lot of reasons I love LSU, but the main thing is coach Corey Raymond. We have built a strong relationship over a long period of time. We have really gotten to know each other. I am relaxed around him, we can talk about anything and I know he will be there for me at any time. Our connection is what really pushed LSU to the top,” he told Rivals. “This commitment is completely different. I took my time. I put more time into it and really looked at other schools. I got caught up in the hype before and I did not know anything about recruiting or other schools. I know all I need to know now and LSU is the school for me. I am done now and I will not visit any other schools.”

LSU’s 13-man class is rated No. 10 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Vanderbilt transfer DL Rutger Reitmaier receives all-clear from NCAA

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Vanderbilt got some good news Wednesday when the NCAA approved transfer Rutger Reitmaier to compete this fall.

The Nashville native signed with Oregon out of high school in 2017 but did not compete for the Ducks. He left the team after spring practice, sat out the 2017 season and enrolled at Vanderbilt in January.

“Adding Rutger to our roster is huge,” head coach Derek Mason told Vanderbilt’s official site. “He adds depth, athleticism and will be a key piece for us. I’m excited about what an impactful player he is, and it’s great to add another quality player from Nashville.”

A 4-star recruit, Reitmaier was recruited by the likes of Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina, but favored Vanderbilt when leaving Oregon.

“Vanderbilt was the first school I considered after deciding to leave Oregon,” he said. “It was one of my top-three schools during my initial recruitment in high school. Defense wins championships, so having a head coach like Coach Mason with that background was attractive for me. I’m excited to get going.”

 

Northwestern announces slew of schedule changes, including future home-and-homes with Tulane and Rice

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Northwestern claims they have the best home schedule in the country for the upcoming 2018 season and they have a pretty good case with Duke, Akron, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame all coming to Ryan Field. Based on the latest moves on their future schedules however, that good run of big names doesn’t quite continue.

The school announced a slew of new games in the coming years on Wednesday, including a pair of home-and-homes with AAC and CUSA opponents. First up is a date with Tulane in Evanston on Sept. 12, 2020, followed by a return game in New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2025. As a result of that first game against the Green Wave, the Wildcats had to move their previously scheduled contest against Central Michigan from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19 in 2020 (also at home).

Another school in the South was also added to the NU docket with a second home-and-home series with Rice way out in the future. The pair will play in Houston on Sept. 8, 2029, while the return game at Ryan Field is set for Sept. 6… 2031. Yeah, 2031. The two teams will also meet in 2024 and 2025.

A single home game against FCS power South Dakota State was also announced by Northwestern and will be played on Sept. 12, 2026.

The moves mean the Wildcats’ non-conference slate is pretty much set in 2019 (at Stanford, vs. UNLV and UMass), 2022 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Southern Illinois) and 2024 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Rice). The games announced Wednesday fill in some of the holes left in other years but outside of the trip to the Farm next season and a home-and-home with Colorado in 2026/27, there’s not a ton to write home about.

At least Northwestern will always have that 2018 home schedule to point to.

NCAA data shows number of graduate transfers in football nearly doubled last year

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The biggest issue the NCAA is tackling at the moment is an easy one to pick out: transfers. Coaches have chimed in about potential changes and new rules have been enacted but even as we approach the Media Days portion of the calendar next month, transfer talk has been one of the hot topics across all major sports at the collegiate level.

Perhaps that interest is one reason why the NCAA released a new study this week looking into the numbers of one particular category of players: graduate transfers. While the number of actual graduate transfers remains relatively low (about 1% of the total number of student-athletes), the number itself continues to skyrocket year-by-year as more and more players take advantage of rules that allow them to graduate and play immediately at their next school.

According to the NCAA, that number of grad transfers is five times bigger in 2017 than it was in 2011 for men’s sports alone and football in particular saw the number of players moving around nearly double from 117 total in 2016 to 211 the following season. The rates are higher in men’s basketball but the overall number is naturally much bigger in football given the vastly bigger roster size.

Data for 2018 was naturally not made available since we’re just in the middle of the year but a similar increase wouldn’t be too surprising to see given the number of big names that have made headlines prior to the upcoming season. That includes players like Michigan’s Wilton Speight (to UCLA), Cal’s Tre Watson (to Texas), Notre Dame’s Jay Hayes (to Georgia) and Alabama’s Brandon Kennedy (to Tennessee) all among those taking the grad transfer route. It seems like nearly every week we see one or two players announce their intentions to take a similar path.

While we might not have 400+ players listed as graduate transfers in football when 2018 comes to a close, it certainly doesn’t appear that this trend will be slowing down anytime soon and the coaches that are complaining about this brand of “free agency” in college football will just have to get used to the new reality of player movement in light of a number of new NCAA reforms on the subject.