Say Hello To The New Stanford Band For The Basketball Season: A DeeJay
Rick Chandler 02:40 pm, January 02nd, 2017
In case you didn't see the Sun Bowl (haha, just kidding. No one saw the Sun Bowl), the Stanford Band wasn't there. A local El Paso high school band took their place and performed the halftime show.
That's because the infamous Stanford Band was placed on double-secret probation on Dec. 9, meaning that they've been banned from all activities for the remainder of the academic year. This is a rare but not unprecedented move at Stanford, where the administration gives the band incredible leeway with its irreverent, insubordinate antics.
So this was the scene prior to Stanford's men's basketball tussle with visiting Arizona on New Year's Day at Maples Pavilion: The Band has been replaced by a deejay. Sad, really. Is there anything more depressing than an empty band section at a major university?
(Turns out there is: Stanford lost to the Wildcats, 91-52).
Loudest noises at Maples today: 1. DJ music that is replacing suspended Stanford band. 2. "U of A" chants. 3. Fans vying for T-shirt toss.
So the Band was first placed on probation back in November when some students complained of alcohol abuse and questionable hazing rituals. That probation included an alcohol and travel ban.
But the university found that the Band promptly violated that probation, and so announced that the Band was, well, disbanded until next football season. Excerpt from the announcement:
It found that Band violated both its alcohol ban and travel ban on multiple occasions, including drinking at Tree Rollouts and using Band funds to travel to Lake Tahoe.
Because what do you do when you're put on probation? You throw a Toga Party.
When the Band does come back, it will be under the guidance of a "professional band coordinator": in other words, there will be an adult in charge for the first time since 1963.
That's the unofficial birth year of the Stanford Band, when a new band director, Arthur P. Barnes, took over. His first official act was to cede any meaningful oversight to the band members themselves, meaning that the nuts were then in charge of the asylum. And it's been that way, more or less, ever since. (Example: In 1990 the governor of Oregon banned them from the state for forming a chainsaw on the field and cutting up trees and an endangered Spotted Owl).
But the administration is now insisting that the Band, when it reconvenes next Fall, must have all routines and activities approved by a new director. Is this the end of the Stanford Band as we know it? I sure hope not. The last thing we need in Trump's America is another boring, lock-step militarized marching band.