Pep bands can add a lot to the atmosphere of a college basketball game. Cal Poly Pomona has one. So does Cal State San Bernardino. But two of the better ones are at rivals UC San Diego and Humboldt State.
Give the Humboldt State folks some credit. The Marching Lumberjacks follow their team everywhere. It’s one thing to hit the road for a game in commuter distance. But the group was in Southern California over the weekend for the games against the two area teams.
Yes that band can be be a bit annoying . . like when it started playing during a timeout at Coussoulis Arena Friday night even when music had already started and the home cheerleaders were performing. But at least it cares and is passionate.
I’m guessing they’re not all students either. Several look closer to 30 years old than 20.
But Cal State San Bernardino’s so-called “Wild Bunch” only shows up when it is getting paid. You read that right – getting paid. It didn’t matter that the game against Humboldt had huge signficance and that opponent has emerged as a huge rival for Coach Jeff Oliver’s Coyotes. The Wild Bunch was a no show.
The state university system has enough budget problems. It shouldn’t have to compensate a pep band.
The Cal Poly pep band also travels within reason. It’s group typically goes to San Diego and San Bernardino. The Bronco band even takes part in a little battle of the bands. When it was in San Diego two weeks ago it took the court after the game and traded turns with the Triton folk so long school officials turned the lights out to encourage their departure.