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.

 

Colorado lands Nebraska transfer LB Guy Thomas

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There’s a new Guy on the team at Colorado.

On Saturday, former Nebraska linebacker Guy Thomas announced his commitment to Colorado. “I give thanks to everybody that has been influential, and supportive in my life,” Nyon said in a graphic posted to his Twitter account. “I am taking this time to announce that I will be committing to the University of Colorado.”

Thomas first announced his transfer back in November; he appeared in just four games over two years on the club. He posted four tackles in as many games as a redshirt freshman in 2018, with three coming against FCS Bethune-Cookman.

“It’s not working out,” Thomas told the Omaha World-Herald upon his transfer.

Barring a waiver, Thomas will have to sit out the 2019 season and compete as a redshirt junior in 2020. He figures to contribute as a pass-rushing outside linebacker whenever he is cleared to play.

As of now, Jim Harbaugh plans to play Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey in every game

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Michigan does not open training camp until Aug. 2 and does not play its first game until Aug. 31, so any “as of right now” statements are devoid of 20-odd practices worth of context.

Still, as of Big Ten media days, Jim Harbaugh plans to play both Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey in every game.

“Yeah, I do (see games where they’ll both play). Where it stands right now, and that could change later or not, is I see them both playing,” Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press. “Where it stands right now, I see it as maybe redefining what a starter is…. I’m really not talking about playing them both at the same time (on a play), when I say both in games it’d be they’re both playing quarterback during the same game. And in the way it stands now, in every game.”

Harbaugh has been a one-quarterback man for the entirety of his career, but Patterson’s inconsistency and McCaffrey’s talent may demand a change. Michigan did juggle quarterbacks in 2017 — John O’KornBrandon Peters and Wilton Speight each threw at least 81 passes — but that was due to necessity, not strategy.

Patterson completed 64.6 percent of his passes last season for 2,600 yards (on 8.0 per attempt) with 22 touchdowns against seven interceptions while rushing 76 times for 273 yards and two touchdowns. In his second year in the program, McCaffrey completed 8-of-15 passes for 126 yards with two touchdowns whilst rushing 10 times for 99 yards and a touchdown.

The son of Ed McCaffrey and brother of Christian McCaffrey is certainly the heir apparent in Ann Arbor, and it appears Harbaugh isn’t willing to wait for the future to arrive in order to unleash arguably his most talented quarterback recruit since Andrew Luck.

Big Ten could realign divisions yet again, according to PJ Fleck

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Whether he knew it or not, Minnesota head coach PJ Fleck broke news that will set certain circles of the college football blogosphere (including this one) by touching on the topic that is consistently gobbled up like Thanksgiving turkey: realignment.

“Change is inevitable,” Fleck told The Athletic. “I think we all know that. I think that the East and West have been around for a while. I like it, I like the division of it. But I don’t think it will stay the same. I think we’ll change it at some point because change is coming somehow, some way. And I think people are going to want to move it around, and shake it up a little bit.”

Fleck said the topic came up during the Big Ten’s spring meetings in Arizona; the conference did not comment on the topic.

The Big Ten split into divisions upon Nebraska’s 2011 arrival, memorably going with the idiotic Legends and Leaders alignment that was designed to protect rivalries and preserve competitive balance. That alignment lasted three years, until Maryland and Rutgers joined the party in 2014 and the conference rejiggered its alignment into a more sensible East and West split.

While a geographic divide does preserve rivalries and makes both logistical and logical sense, it has come at the price of competitive balance. The East champion has gone a perfect 5-for-5 in Big Ten title games under the current arrangement.

However, the East is a mere five games ahead of the West in regular season matchups, an average of one extra victory per season.

If — and at this point’s a very big if — the Big Ten does realign again, the conference could return to a Legends and Leaders format (hopefully with different names) or it could scrap divisions altogether, giving each school two or three protected rivals while putting the rest of the league in a regular rotation. The positive aspect of this alignment is it guarantees the top two teams would meet in Indianapolis, but the drawback is it could trigger an instant Michigan-Ohio State rematch.

It’s too early to report when and if a second realignment would happen, but as Fleck reminded us this week it is never too early to speculate.

Penn State DE Yetur Gross-Matos, RB Journey Brown suspended through rest of July

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The season does not begin today, but if it did Penn State would be without one of its best players.

Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin confirmed to the press at Big Ten media days that defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and running back Journey Brown are presently suspended for a “violation of team rules” dating back to spring practice. The suspension is slated to end Aug. 1.

Gross-Matos, a junior, led Penn State in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (20) while registering 54 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on the season. He enters the year a candidate for the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award.

“I talk to him all the time,” Franklin told Lions247 of Gross-Matos, despite the suspension. “[He is] doing great.”

Brown, also a junior, posted eight carries for 44 yards and a touchdown in 2018.