- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 31, 2002

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise yesterday demanded an apology from the University of Virginia because a pep band lampooned his state's rural image during the halftime show of a college football bowl game.
Saturday's Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., pitted the University of Virginia against West Virginia University.
At halftime, Virginia's student-run pep band staged a parody of "The Bachelor," with a male Virginia student choosing between two female contestants.
The contestant said to be from West Virginia wore blue overalls and pigtails, had a talent for square dancing and declared a dream to move to Beverly Hills, Calif. a reference to the 1960s television show "The Beverly Hillbillies."
"This type of performance merely perpetuates the unfounded stereotypes that we in West Virginia are fighting so hard to overcome," Mr. Wise said in a letter to University of Virginia President John T. Casteen.
UVa. officials said Mr. Casteen would issue a statement today. Adam Lorentson, the band's director, did not return telephone messages last evening.
Leonard Sandridge, the university's executive vice president and chief operating officer, called the band's performance "inappropriate" and said it offended fans of both teams.
Mr. Sandridge declined to say what, if any, sanctions would be imposed on the pep band. In previous years, officials have barred the band from marching at halftimes of home games.
Ken Haines, the bowl game's executive director, said the pep band is not welcome at future Continental Tire Bowls.
He said he approved a five-paragraph script that band officials presented before the game, but "their performance was more embellished. The execution by the pep band was not in the same tone that we were led to believe."
Virginia won Saturday's game, 48-22.
The pep band poked fun at West Virginia at halftime of the last Virginia-West Virginia football game, played in 1985. That performance, a parody of the television show "Family Feud," included derogatory references to indoor plumbing and birth control.


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