October 25, 2011
For the second consecutive week, Vanderbilt has to explain itself for an embarrassing postgame incident.
The university issued a statement Tuesday apologizing to "all of the men and women who attend and work at the United States Military Academy, their families, all graduates of USMA and their fans" for leaving the field and blasting music over the PA system during the playing of Army's alma mater.
Here's the text of the letter on the Vanderbilt website:
To all of the men and women who attend and work at the United States Military Academy, their families, all graduates of USMA and their fans:
We at Vanderbilt University would like to publicly offer our sincere apology for the events that occurred at the conclusion of our recent football game. While our football team performed our alma mater with our fans and band, the Black Knights, their band and cheerleaders, as well as their fans, stood at attention and honored us as would a worthy foe. However, after we were finished and the Black Knights began to perform their alma mater, our football team left the field and our loud speaker blasted music that had the result of drowning out the performing of your alma mater.
While there was no intention to be disrespectful, this was wrong and was a huge mistake on our part. There is no excuse for this oversight; we were just wrong and we are truly sorry.
Make no mistake, the people at Vanderbilt University, our alumni and fans respect all that you do and have done for this nation. We are honored by what you stand for and we understand that this was not the way you should have been treated.
On behalf of Vanderbilt University, please accept our apology for this mistake and oversight of your important protocol. You deserved better and we have learned from our mistake. We request your forgiveness.
In fairness to Vanderbilt, it hasn't hosted Army in more than 20 years and coach James Franklin has never faced Army during his coaching career. Still, it's pretty well known that military academies stand with opponents during their alma mater and that they expect the same in return.
This is the second consecutive week Vanderbilt has had to address a postgame issue. Against Georgia two weeks ago, Franklin got into a verbal altercation with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham after multiple altercations between players during the game. Franklin dismissed the flap after the game, but the incident was examined ad nauseam in the media — especially after neither coach was reprimanded for his actions.
Army and Vanderbilt have no future games currently scheduled.