K-State administrators silence Tracz

K-State President Kirk Schulz speaks during the K-State Student Union renovation groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 2, 2015. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

After undergoing criticism over the K-State Marching Band’s halftime performance at Saturday’s football game against University of South Dakota, Director of Bands Frank Tracz was set to participate in a live, online public Q-and-A with the Kansas State Collegian.

The Q-and-A, titled Ask Me Live, was scheduled Sunday evening following an email inquiry from the Collegian’s online editor and Ask Me Live host Erin Poppe, graduate student in public administration. Poppe asked Tracz if he would like to participate in an AML session during the following week to address the controversy.

Tracz responded within five minutes of Poppe’s email, saying “You bet, Erin. I would love the opportunity to answer questions and get the truth out about this past weekend and what I and the band do.”

At 8:55 a.m., just five minutes before the start of his Q-and-A, Tracz released an opening statement, saying “I appreciate all the support that we’ve been getting from the K-State family. The marching band is a special group of young people to me and the staff. They are deserving of the Sudler Trophy and all the support you could give them.”

Shortly after, however, Tracz received an email from university administrators and asked the Collegian staff to wait as he called K-State President Kirk Schulz for further details.

Upon finishing his discussion with Schulz, Tracz received a call from K-State Athletic Director John Currie. When the second conversation ended, Tracz informed the Collegian staff that he could not continue with the chat under advisement from Schulz and Currie.

In his closing statement at 9:09 a.m., Tracz said “I think it would be best at this time to delay this interview until we have a chance to meet and discuss this with the appropriate people. I really appreciate the Collegian with providing me with this opportunity, and will certainly take them up on this Ask Me Live request on a future date and at a future time.”

On the phone, Tracz mentioned that a meeting about the performance is taking place Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, stopped by to show support for Tracz and Ask Me Live just after it was cancelled, seemingly unaware that Schulz and Currie had advised Tracz not to speak.

Calls made to Schulz and Currie were not immediately returned.

Tracz’s original Ask Me Live page can be found here.