The University of Wisconsin may not permit members of the Penn State Blue Band to play at this Saturday's football game at Wisconsin, a Blue Band official said Monday.
The Blue Band plans to send a smaller pep band to Wisconsin this weekend, but the Wisconsin athletic department has not confirmed if the band will be allowed to play during the football game, Blue Band Director Richard Bundy said Monday.
"It's still unclear at this point whether or not the small band will be able to play in the stadium," Bundy said. "They may be turned away at the stadium for all we know."
A situation like this has occurred a few times in the past but doesn't happen often, Blue Band Assistant Director Greg Drane said.
Each year, the Blue Band sends letters requesting to send a pep band to Penn State's away games. For Saturday's game, the Penn State Alumni Association has purchased tickets at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium for Blue Band members, Bundy said. The band will play at an Alumni Association event before the game, he added.
"The band will still go to the game but if we're told 'no' we will not be able to take our instruments in," Bundy said.
According to a Friday press release from Wisconsin, the university has suspended its marching band from performing at games "as a result of serious hazing allegations" including "inappropriate alcohol-use, hazing and sexualized behavior."
The band did not play during last Saturday's game against Ohio State and may not play this Saturday depending on the results of an ongoing investigation, Wisconsin spokesman John Lucas said Monday.
However, Drane said he can't speculate on whether the Wisconsin band's recent suspension has anything to do with the possibility Penn State's pep band may not play at the game.
Drane said every stadium reserves the right to turn away a pep band from an opposing school.
"I'm sure they don't want to give us the opportunity to get our crowd behind our team, utilizing the band," Drane said. "When we sent the pep band to Syracuse it had quite an effect on our fans."
Lucas added he had not heard anything about the situation with Penn State's pep band.
Officials from Wisconsin's athletics department and marching band did not immediately return calls Monday.
Blue Band drum major Matt Sabo (junior-economics) said he doesn't think the hazing allegations at Wisconsin are indicative of marching band culture in the Big Ten.
"It's disappointing to see this happen, especially since we all have to be careful with our actions," he said. "I'm sure that it's one of those things where a few people may think it's funny or decide to do the wrong thing, but I know it's not a part of their organization or any other."
Bundy said the situation at Wisconsin is "not particularly surprising," adding he thinks hazing occurs in some college bands.
In 2006, the Wisconsin marching band was put on probation for similar allegations.
The Blue Band does not tolerate hazing, Bundy said.
"We do not condone that here, nor do we have hazing activities that the students take part in," he said. "Our approach is more to welcome and guide students into band membership rather than put them through some kind of demeaning process."
John Long, a Wisconsin spokesman, said the university hopes to "clarify the band's status" before Saturday's game.
Despite the prospect of a band-free football game on Saturday, Bundy said Penn State fans may still hear a few fight songs from the Blue Band during the game.
"Knowing our students, they will be singing the songs," he said.
This article incorrectly reported the name of a University of Wisconsin spokesman. The correct name of the spokesman is John Lucas.