JSU's band won't make trip to LSU game due to ban on visiting halftime bands

Published: Jun. 10, 2016 at 7:06 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2016 at 7:35 PM CDT
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Marching Southerners. ©JSU/Steve Latham
Marching Southerners. ©JSU/Steve Latham
Marching Southerners. ©JSU/Steve Latham
Marching Southerners. ©JSU/Steve Latham
Marching Southerners. ©JSU/Steve Latham
Marching Southerners. ©JSU/Steve Latham

JACKSONVILLE, AL (WBRC) - A new policy at Louisiana State University means bands from visiting football teams, won't perform at halftime this fall at LSU Tiger Stadium.

In Alabama this fall, that move will affect the Jacksonville State University and the University of Alabama.

JSU band director Dr. Ken Bodiford says he found out Thursday about the decision but wasn't told why.

"Every school we've played in football, they've always welcomed us with open arms," Bodiford said. "I know Auburn last year, they were incredible to us. A couple of years ago when we played Michigan State, they let us perform at pre-game and halftime."

Bodiford announced on his Facebook timeline Thursday that it means the JSU Marching Southerners Band and Marching Ballerinas Dance Line won't be making the trip to Baton Rouge for the Sept. 10 game.

Bodiford said he felt he couldn't justify the $120,000 expense of bus rental, hotel accommodations and meals for such a trip.

Instead, the money will be saved to pay the band's way to a possible championship game, like the one JSU lost to North Dakota State in Texas back in January.

"We're going to just use this money to go to Frisco, TX with the full band, you know, if our team makes it to the national playoff games," Bodiford explainedd.

A spokesperson for the LSU Tigers athletic department confirmed the ban on visiting teams playing at halftime and said it was due to "past incidents" but wouldn't go into detail.

Bodiford's Facebook thread drew more than a few comments from disappointed band members, supporters and even members of other bands.

"Geaux suck an egg," one supporter posted.

The move also affected the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band and Crimsonettes.

The band's co-director, Randall Coleman, commented in Bodiford's Facebook thread that the school would only send a small pep band as a result.

Even so, Bodiford says that's not an option for JSU. He says Tiger Stadium is famous for being especially noisy and feels a pep band would be drowned out, thus not justifying the expense.

Bodiford says he knows the band members, in particular, will be disappointed about not making the trip.

"The kids always look forward to these big trips, and playing LSU is a big deal for JSU. And we started talking about that, you know, to the kids last year. So I know there'll be a lot of disappointment out there," Bodiford said.

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