Yesterday, word came out that UCLA had let the Spirit of Troy, USC’s marching band, aware of a motion to mobilize security against the band should the band’s famed drum major stab his sword at 50-yard line in their traditional pregame festivities.
The movement from UCLA had been following a push to ‘defend the logo’ at Rose Bowl after a promotional Pac-12 video this summer showed the drum major stabbing the sword at the 50-yard line and through UCLA’s wordmark. The video was controversial in UCLA circles, and the conference removed the video shortly after.
Today, the band officially spoke on the matter in a press release published on their university-sponsored website this afternoon:
In the spirit of cooperation and sportsmanship and at the request of the UCLA Athletic Department, the USC Trojan Marching Band drum major will not stab the field before the game Saturday.
It was decided by Trojan Marching Band Director Dr. Arthur C. Bartner after meeting with UCLA game management that it was in the best interest of both universities to suspend this tradition at this game.
“It is important to protect a great rivalry and to conduct it in the most mutually respectful way possible,” said Dr. Bartner.