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K-State Band Responds To Charges Of 'Inappropriate' Halftime Show

Courtesy photo
Kansas State University

Critics say the Kansas State University marching band put a Kansas Jayhawk in a compromised position during halftime of the Wildcats' season opener Saturday. (Decide for yourself here.)

The band performed a 'space'-themed show and at one point began playing music from Star Trek. One half of the band formed what looked like a Jayhawk; the other half formed what any Trekkie would recognize as the Starship Enterprise. Then, the two formations started coming towards each other, causing the uproar.

Frank Tracz, the band's director, denied any charges his band meant to be inappropriate in a Facebook postyesterday. 

"There was absolutely no intent to display anything other than the Enterprise and the Jayhawk in battle. If I am guilty of anything it would be the inability to teach the drill in a manner that these young people could have succeeded. I do apologize for the misinterpretation and I assure you that I meant absolutely no disrespect or malice toward the University of Kansas."

Tracz was scheduled to take questions live online Monday morning at the website of the campus newspaper The Kansas State Collegian. At 9 a.m. sharp, about a half dozen questions from different users appeared. 

Most of the comments seemed implicitly supportive of the band, but asked questions about the band's execution. 

A user named Teresa wrote, "I think all have been overreacting to this performance and see what they want to see. However, with that said, why would you do a routine with a Jayhawk in it at all anyway? This in no way supports the Wildcats and KSU."

BraveHawk21 chimed in: "Hi Dr. Tracz, I am a Jayhawk fan and do know you are a wonderful director and I personally still respect you! Can you please explain the appearance of the formation in question regarding the Jayhawk? Thank you."

Though a few others were more hostile. 

CJ asked, "Now that the band has damaged the value of a degree from Kansas State University because of a poor decision, what will the band do to make things up to all the students and alumni?"

Ten minutes after the scheduled session commenced, Tracz messaged the page: 

"I think it would be best at this time to delay this interview until we have a chance to meet and discuss this with the appropriate people. I really appreciate the Collegian with providing me with this opportunity, and will certainly take them up on this Ask Me Live request on a future date and at a future time."

Kyle Palmer is the editor of the Shawnee Mission Post, a digital news outlet serving Northeast Johnson County, Kansas. He previously served as KCUR's news director and morning newscaster.
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