Letter to the editor: Marching band’s anger toward reporters not justified


Some members of the Kansas State marching band are hot with anger toward the Collegian, and I do not understand why.

As a former member of “The Pride of Wildcat Land” and a former Collegian staffer, it is frustrating to see how some band members reacted to Saturday’s story on “The Wabash Cannonball.”

The story was based entirely on facts.

Fact: “Wabash” was not played in the first half of the game.

Fact: “Wabash” was cut short at the last home game against Baylor due to the “F*** KU” chant.

Fact: Band director Frank Tracz said the band would stop playing “Wabash” if students continued the “F*** KU” chant.

Fact: Inclement weather prevented pre-game traditions, which includes “Wabash.”

Fact: The football team did not score until there were two minutes, 27 seconds left in the first half — after the band had likely exited the stands for its halftime show.

Fact: Tracz could have had the band play “Wabash” outside the normal situations; there is no rule against it.

Fact: The original story said the reason for no “Wabash” in the first half was unknown and stated that weather could have been a factor.

Fact: An update was published after the game once Tracz contacted the Collegian.

I do not know the writer, and I do not know who edited the story. I do know there was no reason for the Collegian to apologize.

In no way was this story an attack on the band. It was a true and accurate story about the fact that “Wabash” was never played in the first half. I am sure there were many fans at the game and watching on TV who wondered why this was the case.

“Regardless of whether it was related to the chant or the weather, the tradition has apparently stopped,” stated the last line of the original story.

I would not have written that the tradition had apparently stopped, but the fans at the game who had spent several hours in the stands without “Wabashing” must have been wondering what happened. The story did not blame the chant or the band for no “Wabash” in the first half.

Yes, the writing and editing could have been better at distancing the idea that the “F*** KU” chant was the one and only reason “Wabash” was not played, but it never said it was.

All information that was known at the time was reported. When more information became available, the story was updated.

Good job, Collegian staffers. I appreciate the timely and relevant story, as well as the update with more information. You will never make everyone happy, including those people who gave you one-star ratings on Facebook because of this incident.

You have no reason to apologize.

Jason Tidd is a 2017 Kansas State graduate in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.