Columbia band banned from home finale

NEW YORK -- The Columbia University marching band has been banned from performing at Saturday's home finale against Brown, after poking fun at the Lions' losing ways following a 62-41 defeat last weekend at Cornell.

After every game, win or lose, the Columbia band plays the school fight song, "Roar, Lion, Roar." But last Saturday, the band altered the lyrics to highlight the team's recent struggles -- the Lions are 0-9 this season.

The altered verse began with the lyrics, "We always lose, lose, lose; by a lot, and sometimes by a little," according to an article in the Columbia Spectator, the school's student newspaper.

"Our football players, coaches, alumni, parents are extremely hurt, disappointed and angry by the band's behavior at Cornell," Columbia athletic director Dr. M. Dianne Murphy said.

"Because of the band's disrespect for the feelings and efforts of their classmates and fellow Columbians, we believe that allowing the band the opportunity to perform at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium on Saturday undermines the University's institutional support for our football team."

Columbia senior José Delgado, the band's manager, emailed a statement to ESPNNewYork.com:

"The Columbia University Marching Band would like to apologize to the members of our community, in particular to our fellow classmates and coaches, who were offended by the incident that occurred on November 12 at the Columbia vs. Cornell football game. We accept the consequences and look forward to continue to be a part of our school spirit for future athletic events.

"We are disappointed that we will be unable to perform at Saturday's football game -- the last game for seniors both in the band and on the football team. All season, we have been ardent supporters of the football team, rain or shine. The band will be at Saturday's game just as we are every week cheering for our Columbia Lions, win or lose. We look forward to supporting our athletic teams for many years in the future."

Kieran Darcy is a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com.