Rice University issued a statement Saturday saying it regrets the performance by the marching band at halftime that addressed Baylor and its sexual assault scandal.
The Marching Owl Band (MOB) formed "IX" for Title IX, in reference to the lawsuits Baylor is facing, and a star, in reference to former Baylor president Ken Starr, who resigned in the wake of an investigation that found that the school mishandled sexual assault allegations against students — and especially football players.
"We regret any offense, particularly if Baylor fans may have felt unwelcome in our stadium," the statement said. "While we know the MOB did not intend in any way to make light of the serious issue of sexual assault, we are concerned that some people may have interpreted the halftime performance in that vein."
Baylor won the game 38-10.
The full statement:
"The Marching Owl Band, or MOB, has a tradition of satirizing the Rice Owls’ football opponents. In this case, the band’s calling attention to the situation at Baylor was subject to many different interpretations.
"Although the band’s halftime shows are entirely the members’ projects with no prior review by the university administration, we regret any offense, particularly if Baylor fans may have felt unwelcome in our stadium. While we know that the MOB did not intend in any way to make light of the serious issue of sexual assault, we are concerned that some people may have interpreted the halftime performance in that vein.
"Sexual assault is a matter of serious concern on campuses across the nation, and all of us have an obligation to address the matter with all the tools at our disposal. The MOB sought to highlight the events at Baylor by satirizing the actions or inactions of the Baylor administration, but it is apparent from the comments of many spectators and Baylor fans that the MOB’s effort may have gone too far."