Rice marching band issues statement after ‘satirizing’ Baylor sexual assault scandal

By Jesse Reed

The Rice marching band made headlines after mocking the Baylor sexual assault scandal on Friday night. The marching band aligned itself in the form of the Roman numeral IX, highlighting Baylor as an accused violator of Title IX.

The sexual assault scandal that has rocked Baylor the past year resulted in the departure of head coach Art Briles, along with president Ken Starr, who resigned.

On Saturday, the Rice marching band issued a statement after some heavy backlash for what many considered as offensive.

Here is the statement, via SportsDay:

“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.”

So, it’s not exactly a full apology. It’s more of an explanation with a “sorry if you got offended” twist.

It will be interesting to see if anything else comes of this.