BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Less than a week after adopting a new rule that would ban halftime performances by visiting teams, LSU changed its policy.
The new rule that would prevent bands from visiting teams the chance to perform was announced late last week. However, LSU associate athletic director, Eddie Nunez, said the decision came after someone was injured on the field two years ago.
Needless to say, the news was not well received.
"The kids always look forward to these big trips, and playing LSU is a big deal for JSU," said Ken Bodiford, band director for Jacksonville State University said in the days following the announcement. "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."
On Wednesday, June 15, officials with the university say they have "developed a plan."
"There are serious safety issues to consider in adopting the proper plan for on-field performances by visiting bands," said LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva. "When both our band and the visiting band are scheduled to perform, there's the possibility of having over 600 additional people converging onto already crowded sidelines while the game is in progress. There are legitimate safety concerns that can affect our student-athletes, so we have developed a plan to insure a more secure environment for everyone."
The new plan involves re-configuring seating in the South End Zone. The purpose is to allow visiting bands a more direct path to the field, which should prevent a safety hazard.
Second, when visiting bands are scheduled to perform, the LSU Band will perform first.
"We have gladly made adjustments to our own halftime show to make it possible for visiting bands to perform on the field," said Damon Talley, LSU Director of Bands. "It is important that we're able to share the field with our colleagues who want to experience the unique atmosphere that is Tiger Stadium. We enthusiastically support the university's effort to make this happen."