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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

UW Marching Band suspended for misconduct allegations

The University of Wisconsin Marching Band will not perform at the night game against Ohio State Saturday, as the band has been suspended for allegations of hazing, UW Band Director Mike Leckrone and Dean of Students Lori Berquam announced at a news conference Friday. 


Berquam said her office has received complaints of hazing against some band members, which Leckrone said were serious enough to take action immediately. 


Leckrone said this is the first time the band will not be at a home football game in the time he's been director - nearly 40 years. 


Former chancellor John Wiley put the band on probation in 2006 for similar reports of inappropriate sexual behavior and alcohol-use. 


Leckrone said the probation had been lifted a year ago, but the new reports of alcohol use, sexual behavior and hazing were against the code of conduct he still held in place. 


\There are allegations of hazing, which I find totally unacceptable - the band knows it,"" Leckrone said. Neither he nor Berquam said how many students were involved or when the allegations took place.  


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Leckrone said the band had made strides since the 2006 probation with mentoring sessions and talking one-on-one with freshmen. 


""You don't have any idea how hard [the decision was],"" he said, adding the band knows how important the nationally televised game is for him. 


Berquam said Kevin Helmkamp, associate dean of students, has been put in charge of the investigation. She did not say how long the suspension could be in effect.

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