AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas marching band will once again be absent from the final two home football games because of a dispute over "The Eyes of Texas" song.
Last month, the Longhorn Band did not attend the football game against Baylor. A message sent to band members reportedly stated that after an internal survey was given asking whether members would play “The Eyes of Texas,” it was revealed there was a lack of “necessary instrumentation.”
Student-athletes and band members raised concerns about the song in June, saying it has racist ties.
The dean said the band would not play until an agreement was reached. The university has formed a committee to study the issue.
For now, the song will continue to be played from loudspeakers at the game.
Texas quarterback Ehlinger was one of few UT players who stayed on the field to sing "The Eyes of Texas" after the Longhorns' dramatic quadruple overtime loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown. The image led many fans to wonder if the team is divided.
Last month, Ehlinger called the situation "a little bit of a misunderstanding," saying he stayed on the field longer than normal talking to Oklahoma coaches and players and that he wasn't the only one on the field. Ehlinger also said singing the song is important to him because he feels a connection with his family and his late father.
Head coach Tom Herman said the team is unified and has worked through their handling of the postgame tradition. UT Athletic Director Chris Del Conte has said his expectation is that athletes stay on the field postgame to show appreciation to the fans.
Last month, the chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents also issued a statement, reiterating the board's support for keeping "The Eyes of Texas" as the official school song.
The Longhorns take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday. The game is right here in Austin, at DKR Memorial Stadium. You can watch the game on KVUE, with kickoff scheduled for 11 a.m.
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