USC marching band suspends pregame tradition for UCLA game


The USC Trojan Marching Band agreed Tuesday that its drum major will not stab the midfield logo at the request of the UCLA Athletic Department prior to Saturday’s rivalry football game against the No. 17 Bruins at the Rose Bowl.

The Trojan Marching Band released a statement Tuesday, saying its director Arthur C. Bartner had reached the decision after meeting with UCLA game management.

The conflict over the tradition of stabbing the field before the start of each game started when the UCLA athletic department requested the act be taken out of the annual crosstown rivalry game.

The drum major, dressed as a Trojan, typically stabs the field with a sword as part of a pregame ritual for all home games at the Los Angles Memorial Coliseum, as well as some road games, such as California, Notre Dame, Stanford and UCLA.

Bartner said the recent decision stemmed from his desire to continue cordial relations with UCLA.

“It is important to protect a great rivalry and to conduct it in the most mutually respectful way possible,” Bartner said in the statement.

The band also dispelled rumors that it has been asked to not play “Tusk” on its Twitter account Tuesday afternoon.