Hardesty lauds WVU band, Mountaineer fans as UVA officials continue to investigate offensive pep band halftime performance
An official from the University of Virginia said the school will continue to gather information and review a tape regarding Saturday’s offensive halftime performance by the UVA pep band at the Continental Tire Bowl before issuing any statements.
Various staff from the WVU President’s Office have been in contact with UVA officials since early Monday and had anticipated an apology by today following strong reactions from WVU , the Governor’s Office, Tire Bowl officials and Mountaineer fans to the unflattering and derogatory performance.
With the UVA review still pending, WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. issued the following comments:
“First, let me congratulate the University of Virginia football team on their impressive victory. They clearly played a great game.
“But with that said, I was disappointed, to say the least, with UVA ’s pep band performance. It was offensive to West Virginians and in poor taste. Given the similar offensive events involving the UVA pep band at the last encounter between WVU and UVA in 1985, I am surprised that the UVA pep band would again adopt a program that exemplifies such poor sportsmanship. I am also surprised to learn that they performed with apparent script approval from UVA .
“I believe Mountaineer fansincluding myselfhave made their voices clear on this matter. In a conversation Monday I had with UVA President John Casteen, he assured me that the institution would be thoroughly investigating this incident and that a statement would be forthcoming after their fact-finding.
“What I feel is important at this point is to celebrate a great 9-4 season and second-place finish in the Big East Conference; a great fan base in Charlottesome 40,000-plus, contributing to a sellout in the bowl’s inaugural year; and an outstanding performance by our Mountaineer Marching Band.
“There is a reason we nickname our band `The Pride of West Virginia’and that became evident in Charlotte. No matter where our band performs, it represents West Virginia and WVU in the best light possible. It is one of the finest collegiate bands in America and our pride in our band members only grows stronger every year.”
UVA ’s scramble band, in an apparent spoof, mimicked the show,”The Bachelor,”pairing a flannel-clad, square-dancing WVU graduate with a smartly dressed UVA medical graduate, with the bachelor choosing the Virginia contestant.
Tire Bowl officials also sent word to UVA officials, noting that the performance was insulting to West Virginians and a discredit to the bowl. The pep band will not be allowed to perform at the bowl in the future, according to bowl officials.