CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The recent controversy over the University of Maryland not allowing the West Virginia University marching band to perform on the field during Saturday's game in Baltimore actually has little to do with the universities' bands.
On Monday, WVU's band, "The Pride of West Virginia," announced that the University of Maryland had denied it permission to perform at M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens.
The stadium is considered a neutral site, but University of Maryland officials say it's school policy that only their band performs on the field during home football games.
Zack Bolno, senior associate athletics director of media relations for the University of Maryland, said Wednesday that the school is merely following standard practice by not allowing WVU's band on the field, and said Maryland officials told WVU band administration about the fact in June.
"In order to allow them plenty of time for appropriate planning," Bolno said.
But WVU Band Director Jay Drury says that's not entirely true.
Maryland's band director contacted Drury during the summer asking if WVU's band was planning to attend. Shortly after, WVU received a message notifying them that their band was not allowed on the field, and WVU officials began working with Maryland officials to get the decision overturned, according to Drury.
"We had hoped as late as last Friday that they were still considering, and if they weren't, then they led us on for quite some time," Drury said. "We've talked to the band several times.
"This has nothing to do with the Maryland band. As college bands we all support each other, and the Maryland marching band did their best to try to help reverse this decision. This was definitely not their doing."
The announcement led to hundreds of people on social media sites such as Facebook to rally behind WVU's band to try to get them to be allowed to perform on the field.