Colgate University made it's way into the first round of the NCAA tournament, the first time since the year 1996. As someone from Hamilton, I was really excited for my home town university.

The basketball team was invited to Ohio to play in the game, which is great. What is not so great, is the fact that their band was not. Instead, Ohio State University students decked themselves out in Colgate gear and played during the game instead, according to and tweets from OSU students.


Kyle Roadhouse plays the trumpet in the pep band at Colgate. He told the Colgate Maroon News that seeing the fill in pep band on TV during the tournament was "insulting and embarrassing." He also said him and the other students were very disappointed when they found out, and realized they were not invited to participate in the game.

We learned of the ‘fake band’ when we saw shots of drummers on the live CBS coverage of the game, and then again when someone on the cheerleading team [who had attended the game] sent a one of the Colgate band members;...there’s a big difference between not wanting a band there at the tournament - and not wanting Colgate’s band there. We got slapped in the face.

Juliana Smith, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief of Staff, spoke on behalf of Colgate Athletics and told Maroon News said the band’s small size and inconsistent attendance record at games were reasons they were not invited.

“While we have very much appreciated the pep band’s presence at various events this year, unlike many of the larger schools at the tournament, our group is currently too small to support a performance on a scale that is required for a nationally televised event,” Smith said. “We did invite the cheer squad to travel to the NCAA tournament this year in recognition of their commitment to the Raider teams, demonstrated through their participation in every home game this year besides university breaks and for work they have undertaken this year to strengthen their routines.”

Though many colleges’ bands are composed of upwards of 100 students, NCAA guidelines dictate that groups performing during the March Madness tournament can be no larger than 29. The Colgate pep band has 20 active members, sophomore and director Ryan Rios said.

Yet when she was asked about hiring or recruited others to participate, Smith declined to comment. Seems like a bunch of hoopla to me.

What is also funny about this entire situation, is the fact that Colgate's athletic department posted a photo of the "band" on Instagram, and all the comments calling them out about the "fake" members were mysteriously deleted. And eventually, the entire post was deleted. INTERESTING.

What do you think? Do you believe the athletic department at Colgate made the correct decision to "hire" a band to participate at the most important game of the year for the university? Or do you think that it was wrong?

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