The latest in a line of University of Texas controversies, The Daily Texan reports Wednesday that the Longhorn band will not attend this Saturday's football game due to band members voting they did not want to play "The Eyes of Texas."
According to The Daily Texan, members of the Longhorn Band were surveyed asking if they would be willing to play the song, with the results coming back showing that the band would not have the instrumentation for this weekend if asked to play.
This news comes on the heels of the university community speaking out against "The Eyes of Texas" earlier this year, citing the divisiveness of the song and its racist history. A petition with over 8,000 signatures has made its way around the internet calling for a "re-dedication" of the song.
"All of us on staff will do everything we can to create and maintain space for conversations," Longhorn Band Director Scott Hanna said in a message to band members, obtained by The Daily Texan. The message also stated that the results of the survey would not impact whether the band plays and performs at future games, both home and away.
On Wednesday evening, UT President Jay Hartzell said that a recording of the song will still be played at the game this Saturday and will continue to be played at future games.
In July, Hartzell said in a statement that he wanted "The Eyes of Texas" to be a uniting song that the university, students and athletes had the power to define, or redefine, and that the the university would be held accountable to the institutions core values.
Just two weeks ago, senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger and others were hailed as heroes by boosters and alums for standing and singing "The Eyes of Texas" after the four overtime defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners.
Athletic Director Chris Del Conte told fans in his weekly email last Wednesday that the University would continue to play "The Eyes of Texas" while also looking into the songs history and what the contemporary meaning of a song over 100 years old is.
"I do want to clarify that I have had many conversations with our head coaches outlining my expectations that our teams show appreciation for our University, fans, and supporters by standing together as a unified group for "The Eyes," while we work through this issue," Del Conte wrote last week.
This story was edited from its first publication to add the comment from the UT president.
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