Marching band deserves funding for game travel

Dressed head-to-toe in purple, white and black, performing what they have practiced for weeks, these Horned Frogs know what it’s like to sweat.

No, not the football team, but our beloved band. Long sleeves, gloves, dress pants, furry hats and a relatively heavy instrument are the perfect elements for an uncomfortably hot experience. Yet they are there in full, every home game, to make it noisier, louder and more spirited.

They lift school spirit for free, yet no one could pay to give them a lift to the football game at Clemson University this past weekend.

However, the university has had funding for a number of other tidbits around campus in the past year or so: new dormitories, the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility, the Sports/Educational Wing next to the stadium, and even a movie theater in the basement of Sherley Hall, just to name a few.

Brian Youngblood, director of the Horned Frog Marching Band, said in a Sept. 25 Skiff article that sending the band to Clemson would have cost between $50,000 to $60,000, but surely these other additions around campus have added up to much more.

And if donors are big enough football fans to fund suites in the stadium, then why not pitch in to send the band to an important away game like Clemson, the biggest non-conference game of the season?

Suites are not the only thing prioritized before the band. While the athletics department has money set aside for cheerleaders and Showgirls to travel, the band has to manage its own budget for travel.

But without the band, what music do the cheerleaders and Showgirls even dance to? And when a touchdown is made, what song do fans clap their hands and yell to? Maybe they will start replacing the band with a boom box. That’s much more portable and will definitely fit with the university’s poor little budget.

Features editor Katie Ruppel for the editorial board.