The band appeared to have a special message for ex-Baylor coach Art Briles, who attended the first half of the Owls-Bears game in Houston. During its performance, the MOB formed a “IX” in front of the visiting fans section in an apparent reference to the scandal, one involves several Baylor players over a number of years and got Briles fired. Here’s the view from the opposite side of the field.
“There are nine judges on the Supreme Court, or is it?” a narrator said during the performance on the stadium’s loudspeakers, according to the Houston Chronicle, apparently referencing the multiple Title IX lawsuits the victims of sexual assault have filed against the school in the wake of the scandal.
Briles was one of a handful of high-level school officials fired after an investigation conducted earlier this year revealed Baylor officials tried to cover up sexual assault allegations.
Along with Briles, Rice’s marching band also apparently trolled ex-Baylor president Kenneth Starr, who was demoted amid the scandal and ultimately resigned. While playing a rendition of “Hit the Road, Jack,” the band formed itself into a star shape.
According to the Chronicle, the performance was proceeded by an image of the Muppet Fozzie Bear on the stadium’s video board, while the announcer quipped, “Some jokes can be unbearable.”
Unsurprisingly, some Bears fans really did find Rice’s jokes unbearable, according to Rice’s student newspaper, the Rice Thresher, which reported an angry Baylor student confronted some members of the marching band later in the night.
An angry Baylor fan went up to confront MOB members after the performance. Rice students calmed the situation and walked him to concourse— The Rice Thresher (@TheRiceThresher) September 17, 2016
“Rice students calmed the situation,” however, the Thresher reported on Twitter.
Reaction to the performance has been mixed overall, with some finding the jokes that pertain to a sexual assault case distasteful. Others, however, think the performance shed light on the situation.
If only Baylor fans were half as upset at their own school completely failing their own students as they are at a makeshift marching band.— Big 12 Refs (@Big12Refs) September 17, 2016
Briles, it appears, did not get to see the performance. According to ESPN, he left the game at halftime.
“I’m not trying to be a distraction,” Briles told ESPN when he was leaving. “It’s about the coaches and it’s about the players.”
Baylor beat the Owls, 38-10.
Note: Earlier versions of this post incorrectly referred to Rice’s student newspaper as the “Thrasher.”