Stanford band grounded for Big Game against California

The Stanford marching band performs during the Rose Parade on Jan. 1.
The Stanford marching band performs during the Rose Parade on Jan. 1.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

USC fans don’t have be told about the Stanford marching band’s notorious reputation.

This is the group that spelled out a crude insult during a halftime performance at the Coliseum in 1986.

And showed up outside the Los Angeles County courthouse during jury selection for the O.J. Simpson trial in 1994.


And drove around in a fake blood-spattered white Ford Bronco – a reference to Simpson’s low-speed car chase – when the Trojans played at Stanford later that year.

These days, the band is at odds with its own university administration, which has banned it from traveling to regular-season road games in response to complaints about offensive behavior, hazing and violations of alcohol and controlled-substance rules.

Hoping to have the prohibition lifted for this year’s upcoming rivalry game at California, band leaders recently submitted evidence that members have behaved themselves over the past two seasons.

“Despite this, the university committee decided a couple of days ago that we hadn’t provided sufficient documentation to lift the travel ban,” the band said in a Facebook statement this week.

The band has vowed to donate its transportation funding to pay for five buses that will take students to the game across the bay free of charge.

“We can’t be there, but we’ll absolutely be doing our part to make Big Game Week as awesome as possible,” the band announced. “You’ll still see and hear us all over campus.”

One can only imagine what that might look and sound like.

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