HOUSTON, Texas (KTRE) - For the second time this season, an interruption of a Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjack Marching Band Performance is gaining attention on social media.
Videos posted to Twitter show the incident from Saturday’s game at NRG Stadium between Sam Houston State and SFA. In the video, it appears that SHSU kicker Connor Crow is warming up on the field while the band is still performing.
An associate band director appears to try to stop it from happening by picking up the kicking tee. At that point, he is shoved by the kicker.
Over the weekend, SFA’s athletic department took action and is looking into the incident.
“The University’s number one priority is the safety of all students, faculty, and staff.," SFA Athletic Director Ryan Ivey said in an e-mail. "We are working in conjunction with Sam Houston administration, LSSE [Lone Star Sports Entertainment] and the Southland Conference to address this matter appropriately.”
This is the second time an incident has occurred during an SFA halftime performance.
In September, a staff member with Tarleton State was on the field during the performance and elbowed a band member as they marched by.
"Because the safety of all individuals associated with athletic contests is paramount to us, we have reviewed and will continue to monitor our game-management processes and will take any appropriate measures to ensure our students are able to fulfill their game-day duties," Ivey said about this latest incident.
The Southland Conference does have rules about players on the field during halftime. The halftime performers must clear the field at the 3-minute mark. It is unclear at this time how much time was left on the halftime clock.
The policy in regards to players, given to us by Ivey states, “If kicking specialists or other players come out early during the halftime intermission, they are in no way to interfere with the band or any halftime events. Until the field is cleared, all players must keep all their warm-up activity off the field of play.”
In a statement from Dr. Tamey Anglley, Director of The Lumberjack Marching Band said, “The Lumberjack Marching Band works extremely hard throughout the season and is very passionate about supporting SFA Football. I am proud of how the band performed at halftime and represented our university to the best of our ability. We have a great relationship with our athletic department here at SFA and trust our administration to appropriately handle the situation with Sam Houston State University. The Lumberjack Marching Band is looking forward to continuing our unending support of SFA Athletics!”
In a statement, Ivey said the Battle of the Piney Woods typically represents what is good about college athletics.
“Passion, pride and competitive spirit abound through both institutions,” Ivey said. “Unfortunately, this Saturday produced an incident that neither institution condones. We will continue to work together to promote positive sportsmanship and provide positive examples to everyone associated with this historic rivalry.”
Ivey said he is confident that SFA and Sam Houston will be able to work together to make sure no similar incidents occur in future Battle of the Piney Woods games.
“We can and should be the example of how rivals can work together for the benefit of the whole,” Ivey said.
Bobby Williams, SHSU’s athletic director, said he has been a part of the SFA-SHSU rivalry for 38 years. He added that he is very proud of the tradition.
“It can bring out the best in all of us who participate in college football; however, that passion can sometimes cloud the spirit of good sportsmanship,” Williams said. “The incident on Saturday was not representative of the values of this team and we are working with SFA to ensure how both universities can better honor this rich tradition.”
Sam Houston’s athletic director also said they will work with the football staff to develop a better transition plan from halftime to the second half “in order to give the bands full opportunity to showcase their hard work.”
Alexa Silver tweeted a video of the incident. In the tweet, she wrote, “You can literally see how one of the managers was trying to advise him to stop and HE KEPT GOING.”