Click here to see a copy of the e-mail obtained by The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Say goodbye to the "Hey Song."
The song, officially titled "Rock and Roll Part 2," has been a staple at Penn men's basketball games. The Penn Band plays it when it appears that the Quakers will win, and fans replace "Hey!" with "Hey, you suck!" directed at the opposing bench.
This has become popular among students, but at the request of the Athletic Department, the band has agreed to stop playing the song at the end of games.
Associate director of Athletics Mary DiStanislao feels that the song is disrespectful.
"The song the way it is sung doesn't cast Penn in a good light," DiStanislao said in an e-mail. "We have fans of all ages - some who have been coming to the Palestra for years, some who are young and impressionable."
The Athletic Department has received many complaints, including from "more recent grads who are now bringing their own young children to games," DiStanislao said.
The ban on the song was less an order than an agreement, according to Band director Greer Cheeseman. The band didn't play it at Penn's last home win, even though - for the first time in a while - the Quakers had a sizable lead in the final minutes.
Cheeseman agrees with the Athletic Department, but said that a large portion of the band is upset.
"[At first it was] kind of neat to have the whole crowd doing something as one," Cheeseman said. "But it's taken on a life of its own, and is no longer fun."
Students have gotten very passionate about the "Hey Song," often singing three or four rounds before it dies down.
Men's basketball captain Brian Grandieri had not heard about the decision, and coach Glen Miller said that he had no involvement in it.
"I like to see the fans have a good time and enjoy themselves, but I don't really know much of what is going on," Miller said. "[I like to see them] get into it and have fun, whatever that entails as long as it's sportsmanlike."
Most fans have a stronger stance.
"It's basically the most interactive thing that the fans do all game," senior Dave Anderson said. "It's definitely something I'm going to remember long after I graduate."
A peculiar twist to this story comes in the e-mail DiStanislao sent to the Penn Band.
First, she said that director of marketing Brian Head "will discourage the Red and Blue crew from starting a cappella" versions of the song.
Head would not answer questions when reached on his cell phone.
DiStanislao further wrote that "we won't stop it if we're at home inside a minute and up by 20. But we have received complaints about it and basically, even if it weren't offensive, it doesn't make sense for the band to start a refrain like that at the last media time-out with 3+ minutes to go."
Whatever the Athletic Department says, Cheeseman believes halting the students won't be an easy task.
"The fans will probably continue to sing it," he said. "We just won't help by playing it."Comments powered by Disqus
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