No Pre-Game Or Halftime Shows Or Traditions Like UT’s ‘Splitting Of The T’
Published Aug. 29
There will be no “splitting of the T,” drum majors leaning back with legs kicking high in the air or pre-game or halftime shows in the SEC.
The Southeastern Conference will not be allowing bands to take the field during teams’ college football games this like-no-other 2020 season.. Without tailgate parties, it is likely another tradition will also be on the sidelines this year, the “Salute to the Hill” at the University of Tennessee and the various marches through campus into the stadiums.
Visiting bands are also not allowed to travel to road games by the league.
While done as a safety precaution to keep the players as isolated as possible during games, it’s another part of the atmosphere of the college game that won’t be a part of this season’s games. Already, crowds inside the stadium are limited to between 25-30% of capacity and student seating is cut dramatically, taking away a huge homefield advantage for some teams, and there’s no tailgating on campuses. Officially, anyway.
Bands are a huge part of the pageantry of college football. Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Band has the game’s greatest pregame tradition, which involves marching through campus and paying homage to “the Hill,” the oldest part of campus, in a ritual known as the “Salute To The Hill.” It’s a must-do activity for those attending UT games.
It then marches into the stadium in an elaborate pre-game show that spirals and un-spirals and after the National Anthem spells out V-O-L-S, plays “Rock Top” (the school’s unofficial fight song), forms a big “T” and then “splits the T,” which the football team then runs through to take the field.
At LSU, part of what whips the crowd into a frenzy at Death Valley is the band’s on-field pregame show that culminates with the football team running through the Golden Band’s formation.
It’s like that throughout the league. This will affect the spirit of the the games, the few fans in attendance and even the football team, which must play before fewer fans and missing elements that help get them mentally ready to play.