Photo: Justin Ford - USA Today Sports
Article by Will Baizer, HornSports Staff Writer
UPDATE - 09/10/2015, 11:00 pm
Subsequent to HornSports publishing the story below, we have learned that the University of Texas Athletics Department has, in fact, comped Rice University 300 tickets for use this weekend (band). Reports from the Rice MOB member we spoke with were not accurate. The agreement the University of Texas has with Rice University and the University of California-Berkeley (Texas plays in Game 3) specify 300 comped tickets to be used at their discretion. The 300 tickets allotted for Rice would accommodate all of the MOB's members. Our apologies for reporting misinformation.
On Tuesday reports surfaced that The University of Texas would charge Texas Tech $100 per band member for their appearance at the Texas vs. Texas Tech game slated for November 26th in Austin.
ESPNâ€™s Scott Van Pelt caught wind of the report and sought clarification from Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson via Twitter.
— Twitter API (@twitterapi) November 7, 2011
The ticket charges weren't a surprise to Texas Tech administration, as clarified by Robert Giovannetti, senior associate athletics director of external operations for Texas Tech, in an article by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Texas Tech has committed to sending its band members for the game, but Rice University is in a different predicament.
Despite Texas having 15,000 unsold tickets for this weekendâ€™s game against the Owls, Rice Universityâ€™s Marching Owl Band, otherwise known as â€œThe MOB,â€ will not be entertaining fans at Darrel K Royal â€“ Texas Memorial Stadium at halftime.
An anonymous MOBster told me Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson had increased the charges for visiting bands, making it cost prohibitive.
"Steve Patterson increased the charge for visiting bands to $100/seat this season. Unlike the Goin' Band from Raiderland, The MOB doesn't have a large alumni group to ask to pay Steve Patterson's ransom. I am sure that we would love to play for UT, but we simply cannot afford it. We will be playing at North Texas the following week instead."
Unfortunately for Longhorns fans it may be a very long time until they see the Rice MOB on the field at DKR again due to the MOB's budget constraints. The two schools, which have a long history of playing each other dating back to the days of the old Southwest Conference, have yet to schedule their next game against one another.
This isn't a MOB budget cut, this is Texas increasing the costs beyond what is reasonable for the MOB to consider. It's worth noting The MOB went to A&M each of the past two years.
So now instead of partying in Austin for the weekend on 6th street, the MOB will spend its annual trip partying in Dallas, which I've been told they're OK with.
When asked if the MOB will be poking fun at Texas during their show in Denton, the MOBster replied, "A good magician never reveals his secrets."
It appears that Rice MOB members are less than pleased with Steve Patterson for inhibiting their trip to Austin.
"Please tell your readership that this MOBster hopes that they enjoy the Godzillatron ads during halftime, and to address their angry emails to Steve Patterson. The MOB loves to play for UT's fans. You are easily our largest and most involved audience. I, for one, very much hope that we get the opportunity to play for you again. This is a tradition worth keeping."