LSU barring opponents’ bands from performing at halftime

Lightning strikes near Tiger Stadium during a weather delay at an NCAA college football game between LSU and McNeese State in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A new Louisiana State University policy bars the marching bands of opposing teams from performing at halftime of football games at Tiger Stadium.

The school adopted the policy last season to address safety concerns, LSU athletic department spokesman Michael Bonnette said Saturday. Bonnette said the field’s sidelines have become too crowded to accommodate bands from both schools as the first half of a game draws to a close.

Although the policy took effect last season, Bonnette said it only affected bands from two schools that had planned to perform at halftime. One was Auburn. The other was McNeese State, which couldn’t have performed at halftime even without the policy in place since stormy weather forced the cancellation of its matchup with LSU before halftime.

Still, at least one of LSU’s upcoming opponents isn’t happy about the policy.

Jacksonville State band director Ken Bodiford told WFSA-TV that he won’t be bringing the school’s band to LSU’s home opener on Sept. 10. Bodiford said the school can’t justify the $120,000 in travel expenses if his band can’t perform on the field at halftime.

Bonnette said LSU’s athletic department adopted the policy based on a recommendation by the school’s risk management officials.

The policy apparently didn’t generate any complaints from schools last season. Bonnette said Auburn and McNeese State “didn’t have any issues” with it.

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