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Battle of the bands goes too far
Southern, Prairie View bands involved in brawl
Posted: Sunday September 20, 1998 08:42 PM
BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) -- Southern University's marching band director said Sunday that his group was provoked into a halftime brawl with band members from Prairie View A&M.
The fight broke out at halftime of Saturday night's Prairie View-Southern game in Beaumont, where the teams were playing on neutral ground at Lamar University's Cardinals Stadium.
Seven Prairie View band members reportedly suffered minor injuries in the fight. Prairie View officials did not return telephone calls from The Associated Press on Sunday.
Lamar University spokesman Brian Sattler said it was unclear which band started the fight, which continued for 20 minutes before police officers restored peace.
Sandra Samuel, assistant to the chancellor of Southern, said school officials were appalled by the fight.
"We're not going to point any fingers right now," she said. "What Southern has decided to do is launch its own official investigation on Monday and take whatever action is deemed necessary against any of our students who may have been involved."
Southern band director Isaac Greggs said the melee started after his group had finished a seven-minute halftime show and was exiting toward the backside of the field in a block formation. As the formation approached the sideline, Southern drum major Terrell Jackson noticed the Prairie View band lined up there.
"They didn't want anyone to pass through," said Greggs, who was walking behind his band's formation. "When they indicated they weren't going to get our of our way, our drum major indicated to go down the sideline."
Exactly what happened after that to trigger the fight was unclear. Greggs said he was walking behind the formation and didn't see it. But the director said Jackson's mother, who had a clear line of sight, reported that her son was spun around from behind and attacked by at least one Prairie View band members.
"One or two hit him ... in the temple and in the bridge of his nose," Greggs said by telephone Sunday from his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "When he got hit all of them started to fight. ... I was in the middle of it pushing my kids out of the way."
Prairie View band director George Edwards said Saturday night that his group lost uniforms and had instruments damaged in the brawl.
"This has never happened before," said Edwards, whose band never performed.
Greggs said that, aside from Jackson, none of his musicians were hurt. He wasn't sure how many instruments were damaged but planned to conduct an inventory on Monday.
Greggs also said he has films of his band's halftime show that might include footage of the brawl. He hadn't viewed the films by Sunday.
Southern won the game won 37-7, extending Prairie View A&M's NCAA-record losing streak to 80 games.
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