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Original Issue

Marching Madness

If American Pietaught us one thing, it's that the band kids can be just as randy as the jocks.Last week, for instance, Wisconsin placed its marching band on probation afterallegations of hazing and lewd behavior on a bus trip. Here are some othermusicians who haven't always harmonized with the principles of goodsportsmanship.

STANFORD Spaceconstraints (not to mention decorum) make it impossible to catalog all of thecontroversial acts of the wacky Cardinal band (right). In the past 20 yearsthey've been suspended for boozing (2002) and urinating on the field (1986).They've offended the Irish (introducing a character called Seamus O'Hungry in askit lampooning the potato famine at a Notre Dame game), Mormons (at a BYU gamethey poked fun at polygamy) and environmentalists (making light of theendangered spotted owl in a game at Oregon). During the O.J. Simpson trial, 21members played on the courthouse steps just for the heck of it. The band's mostrecent sin: vandalizing its on-campus home, the Band Shak, earlier this year.The school suspended the band for a month.

VIRGINIA For yearsthe Cavaliers didn't have a marching band. Rather, they had a student-run pepband that just kind of ran amok on the field. That changed shortly after the'02 Continental Tire Bowl, where the pep band put on a skit featuring abarefoot square-dancing character. That didn't go over well with UVa'sopponent: West Virginia, whose governor demanded an apology. Before long thepep band was gone, replaced by a traditional, 170-member marching band.

MIAMI (OHIO) In anera when folks would do anything to get out of going to a Cincinnati Bengalsgame, several members of the Miami band were busted for drinking, watchingpornos and mooning passersby on a bus trip in 1999. As punishment, they werebarred from playing a scheduled gig at halftime of a Bengals game.

SOUTHERN ANDPRAIRIE VIEW A&M After a literal battle of the bands--a halftime dustup inwhich Prairie View's sousaphones sustained almost $20,000 in damage--in 1998both groups were suspended for two games. The fracas started with some smacktalk as Southern was leaving the field and Prairie View was going on andquickly mushroomed into a street brawl. It's tough to say who won, but PrairieView came away with a few souvenirs. Said Southern's director, "We lostsome hats and capes. I know because one of their guys was showing [a hat] offin the stands afterward, wearing it."

TEXAS TECHNineteen band members were suspended in 1995 after they attacked mascot Rex L.the Bat (left) at a Texas game. (Rex was owned by the Austin American-Statesmanto promote the paper's ties with Texas.) "People have to remember this is aperson in a costume," said the person in the costume, Rosevelt Hawkins."I am not a cartoon character. I can't get run over by a car and get rightback up."