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Wisconsin band on probation for road trip disharmony

10/12/2006 - Wisconsin Badgers

MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin has put its marching band on probation after receiving reports of severe misconduct during a trip to Michigan last month.

The school is not releasing details on what happened during the trip to the Sept. 23 game. But Chancellor John Wiley described it in a letter to the band's director as behavior "that can be seen as anything from boorish and offensive to patently dangerous and unlawful."

Wiley warned in the letter he would consider suspending activities and travel of the band or replacing its leadership if there were more reports of "gratuitous vulgarity, sexualized banter or joking, hazing, or other forms of demeaning conduct."

"I say this, you know, because I do not feel I have a choice: we either solve the problem now, and the band you have built to such legendary proportions survives, or we look at virtual
extinction for a significant period of time," Wiley warned in the
letter to band director Michael Leckrone.

Casey Nagy, Wiley's top aide, said the behaviors in question violated the band's code of conduct and were repeated despite previous warnings from the administration. He said some of the reports were from the bus trip home from Ann Arbor, Mich.

"If these behaviors recur, they are immediately at risk of losing travel to any postseason competition," Nagy said.