AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns football team is on the road this weekend, and it will be without its marching band.
In a statement released Tuesday, the university said, in part:
“Out of an abundance of caution, the Longhorn Band and Longhorn Pep Band are pausing their practice sessions this week due to COVID-19 protocols and will not be able to perform at Texas Athletics events.”
That means no band at Saturday’s road matchup against TCU, and no pep band at this week’s volleyball matches on Thursday and Friday.
The university did not elaborate on the COVID-19 concerns and did not respond to KXAN when asked if a student in the band, or a faculty or staff member tested positive for the virus. We also asked how long the pause could last and what kind of safety protocols are currently in place at band practices and performances.
UT student and football fan George Sayegh said though he will not be at this weekend’s away game, he is bummed to hear about the band.
“I was there against Rice. I was sitting right next to the marching band they were having a great time,” he said. “They’re so much fun, but if they’re not there, it kind of lowers the atmosphere.”
As for current COVID-19 protocols on campus, KXAN reported last week the university is no longer notifying entire classrooms when someone tests positive, only those who were in close contact with the person. Because UT-Austin is a state entity and takes direction from Gov. Greg Abbott, vaccines and masks can only be recommended, not required, on campus and at events.