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Charge the Marching Band? Why Big 12 Conference Changed Its Tune

Thursday, October 8, 2015   (0 Comments)

Christian Science Monitor (09/10/15) Suhay, Lisa

Visiting teams' marching band members in the Big 12 Conference will be charged as much as $100 per seat this season to play in the stands during college football games. In July, the Big 12 Conference schools made the decision to charge the fees uniformly in an attempt to recoup financial losses as student ticket sales continue to fall nationwide. In addition, a new ruling on Cost Attendance requires student athletes to be paid a twice-monthly stipend in addition to their scholarships.  For the Texas Tech University's "Goin' band," the new rule could cost the university $40,000 to $60,000 to have its 400-plus member band perform at a scheduled Thanksgiving night game against the University of Texas, according to Texas Tech's Robert Giovannetti. He says when bands travel to Texas Tech, the cost will be slightly less, at $75 per ticket. Giovannetti says four schools—Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas, and Baylor—previously "had a kind of handshake agreement not to charge each other for band tickets to the games," while the others charged for band tickets. "My first response is it is cheap and wrong for a school to do this," says Ohio University professor and NCAA compliance expert David Ridpath. "I think all schools should provide free seats for the band and all should reciprocate."


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