Michigan marching band's Texas snub met with social media outcry
The Michigan athletic department made national headlines last week when it painted the social media hashtag "#GoBlue" on the field at Michigan Stadium for the team's annual spring game.
Days later, another Michigan-related hashtag has exploded throughout social media chasms. This time, it's not so warm and fuzzy.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Hundreds of fans, former Michigan athletes and onlookers sent out tweets in support of the band, and firmly against the athletic department's decision to leave them home.
The movement continued Friday, when more than 300 tweets with the hashtag "#MMBtoDallas" were sent between midnight and 4 p.m.
"Favorite Umich memory was band playing for us at practice before first game," former Michigan tight end Bennie Joppru wrote Thursday via Twitter, "gave me chills & still does. Money b4 tradition? WOW."
Michigan spokesman Dave Ablauf said Thursday that the Alabama game is not technically a home game, nor a bowl game, and travel costs for the band will not be allotted in the program's budget for the game.
"We are treating the Cowboys Classic game against Alabama as any other road game," Ablauf wrote in an email. "We do not have a travel allowance for the band like we would for a bowl game.
"They traditionally travel to conference games and our rivalry game against Notre Dame. We have not taken our band on similar trips in the past."
In an interview with the Detroit News on Thursday, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said that the cost of bringing the marching band to Arlington, Texas, for the season opener would run at roughly $400,000.
Brandon told the News he was well aware of the social media outcry, but since the school couldn't swing the large travel cost -- even though the school's athletic department will receive $4.7 million for participation in the event.
That didn't stop the tweeting, though.
"I'm fresh outta 400k $ bills but no Victors in Dallas when we score?" wrote former Michigan kicker Garrett Rivas.
Several other former Michigan athletes voiced their support of the band on Twitter, as well.
Quarterback Drew Henson: "Sad, they'd sound great in the dome."
Basketball player Jalen Rose: "The school gets paid $5m just to participate? #MMBtoDallas."
Safety Cato June: "WHAAAATTT!! ... I am sure (The Victors) will be piped in but not the same feeling."
The Michigan marching band's official Twitter account also made its collective voice heard via social media, tweeting simply:
"'The next time I go into war, I want my band with me!' -- Bo Schembechler."