HOUSTON, TX -- Rice University has released a statement in response to Friday night's marching band routine after Rice's Marching Owl Band referenced their opponent's recent sexual assault scandal.
During Friday's halftime performance, Rice University's marching band formed the Roman numeral IX, a reference to the Title IX ban on sexual discrimination. According to The Texas Tribune, the reference was to mock Baylor University's recent sexual assault scandal.
"The Marching Owl Band, or MOB, has a tradition of satirizing the Rice Owls' football opponents," said David Ruth of Rice University's Office of Public Affairs. "In this case, the band's calling attention to the situation at Baylor was subject to many different interpretations."
Ruth's statement credited the band's halftime shows to be entirely self-contained projects with, "no prior review by the university administration," but that the Rice University administration regrets, "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 and campuses across the nation, and all of us have an obligation to address the matter with all the tools at our disposal," said Ruth.
Ruth finished his statement saying Rice's marching band 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 went too far."
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