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Gator Band Will No Longer Use Penalty Chant

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Florida Gators football
Florida fans react during a third-down defensive play against Tennessee. Greenberry Taylor / WUFT News

During Saturday’s game against Tennessee, Gator fans expected to hear the familiar cue from the band to initiate the “You Can’t Do That” chant.

Instead, they got silence.

Jay Watkins, the UF Associate Director of Athletic Bands, said the University Athletic Association told the band to stop playing the tune, one it usually plays when a penalty is called on the opposing team, because it had received a number of negative e-mails about the accompanying chant morphing into “Move back you suck.”

After the first complaint this season the UAA decided not to play something that could encourage what could be viewed as bad sportsmanship, he said.

“The reason why it’s been stopped is because there have been too many complaints from fans to the athletic department that the student section was saying something else that the fans thought was vulgar and inappropriate,” Watkins said.

“This is a frustrating situation for all and a perfect example of how a few complaints or a few individuals doing the wrong thing negatively affect a great 10-year tradition.”

But the decision to scrap the chant has also generated complaints from University of Florida students when the band wouldn’t accompany the chant at last Saturday’s game.

“I am personally disappointed that we are not being allowed to play a song that has been a band tradition for years,” said Andrew Popp, a member of the Gator band. “I know the band loves playing it and the fans love hearing it.”

But at least one person wasn’t complaining.

Dan Thompson, a 2010 UF graduate who worked in football recruiting for three years as a student, said he first heard the chant in 2012 and in 2013.

“I was confused on where the chant came from and certainly, not only did I not like it,  I thought it was childish and immature.”

Also, said Thompson: “The UAA and the University of Florida have a responsibility to protect themselves and their image.”

Watkins says he is not sure if the song is gone permanently. However, he does not anticipate the band will be playing it anytime soon. There is currently no planned replacement for the song.

About Amanda Brennan

Amanda is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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  • Nick Kelton

    BULLLLLLLSHITTTTTTTT -(another UF tradition)

  • Katie Liz

    The students were still screaming it…stopping the music won’t stop the chant. It seemed like the band member didn’t even realize as they still pulled their yellow flags out…

    • Cindy Amster

      Good for the students hope they continue its a FOOTBALL GAME.

  • Chris

    I recommend these clowns who complained never attend a professional soccer match. They would be scared for life.

    • Cindy Amster

      The clowns have a stick somewhere.

  • Cindy Amster

    It’s interesting how when students stand and the people behind them can’t see the game they paid for , then the students are kids but when the band plays a penalty song and the kids morph it into something else the students are adults. UF you can’t have it both ways. Why should the majority get punished for the minority. Shame on UF for entertaining such nonsense.

  • Colt

    This move by the UAA is ridiculous. This is a 10 year old tradiaion that is harmless and not vulgar. What is next for UAA, banning dressing on women because they show too much cleavage, because that’s vukgar? Banning booing because that’s vulgar? Banning gator bait chant because it is not inclusive to visiting fans? Please go to any sec school and they have chants laced with profanity. This chant is harmless and fun.

  • Alex Folds

    Freedom will prevail. Although the band may not play it. The students will be students and the thought police can not stop them

  • SackLunch22

    It’s a FOOTBALL GAME! Quit making it into a pillow fight….

  • John Davis

    Another university playing it safe. That’s a real great image to show the world. We want to play it safe… It’s not like we want our university to be edgy and forward thinking or anything. Nope, that’s not what going to college is about right? It’s not about being in a position to be exposed to new and different and potentially objectionable thought for the sake of growth or anything. I’ve always been of the belief that getting outside your comfort zone is how we grow our comfort zone. Do we want UF to be a tiny bubble of security, or a borderless nation of diversity and growth? C’mon people, let us not operate based on the fear of other’s judgment, but on the belief that we can embrace all comers!

    P.S. This is especially pertinent to Gator Growl as well!

  • Terrible move. Hoping against hope there’s more than Fun Time Flag Football happening by the time I have kids old enough to take to sports events. This move convincing me that’s likely not the case.

  • Gata

    UAA, move back, you suck!

  • MariettaGator

    I’m happy with the Dragnet Dum da Dum Dum theme.

  • Wolf

    Dan Thompson, you are a pussy.

  • Steve

    I don’t know who this Dan Thompson character is, but from the time I came on campus in 2006 til I graduated in 2010 (and beyond) it had ALWAYS been “move back you suck”. Since the USA started coming down on it this year, the chants have gotten much louder. The more they fight it, the deeper the feet dig into the mud.

  • STFU

    it was lame anyway. We need something more original like Hotty Toddy

  • Beagle

    Uh, still chanting it at the Vandy game.