January 29, 2023

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‘We’re higher than this’: The Wabash Cannonball in jeopardy

Willie does the wabash cannonball with followers within the scholar part. (Archive photograph by Madison Riebel | Collegian Media Group)

Through the soccer pre-game efficiency Saturday, Sept. 4, the Satisfaction of Wildcat Land stopped taking part in their devices mid-Wabash Cannonball because of the slew of profanity coming from the coed part. 

Josh Diazdeleon, trumpet part chief for the Satisfaction of Wildcat Land and Kansas State scholar ambassador, stated the band was extraordinarily disillusioned they have been unable to play for the coed part.

“The members of the Satisfaction can be devastated to lose this custom,” Diazdeleon stated. “I do know we now have loads of members of the band who’re actually pissed off with this. It doesn’t really feel good to not play for the coed part. That was a bummer and that wasn’t simply an opinion I’ve of my very own, that was the whole band.”

The Wabash Cannonball is a conventional, upbeat ballad performed by the Kansas State band throughout soccer and basketball video games. College students, college and alumni take part by cheering and rocking forwards and backwards alternately with these sitting subsequent to them. Nevertheless, in recent times, derogatory remarks in regards to the College of Kansas have been integrated into the custom. 

“I’ll say this — I’m an enormous fan of rivalries and I wholeheartedly consider that we’re one of the best college within the nation,” Diazdeleon stated. “I feel that’s been mirrored in all of the statistics which were popping out so far as Okay-State being the primary college relating to scholar life, however I feel we’re higher than this. The very last thing that I wish to hear once I’m within the Invoice is a few nonsense a couple of college with a traditionally subpar soccer program.”

Not solely does the chanting give credit score to KU’s soccer crew, but it surely additionally takes away from the central which means of the tune, Diazdeleon stated.

“The Wabash will not be solely the primary gameday pregame custom within the Large 12, but it surely’s additionally an integral half to the Okay-State expertise,” Diazdeleon stated. “You possibly can’t have the Okay-State expertise with out the Wabash. It’s the spine of being a Okay-Stater.” 

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College students and college alike have expressed frustration with the profanity chanted through the tune, some even making nameless Instagram accounts encouraging college students to cease, like @savethewabash. President Linton stated he’s upset with the way in which the custom has been handled.

“I’m disillusioned that this chant takes our college students’ and patrons’ focus off of the sector when our student-athletes are doing such unbelievable issues on the sector,” Linton wrote in a Sept. 8 e mail. “I’m actively engaged in conversations with administration and scholar management on one of the best methods we will encourage our college students to dwell their Wildcat values on this venue and restore an environment of respect. That’s the Okay-State approach.”

Scott Sanders, a Okay-State alumnus who graduated in 1995, stated he, together with many different alumni, can be extraordinarily disillusioned if the Wabash Cannonball was taken away due to the scholars yelling profanity.

“I’d be very, very unhappy,” Sanders stated. “As a scholar, I’ve extraordinarily fond recollections of the Wabash Cannonball at soccer and basketball video games, but in addition as a dad or mum, taking my kids to video games. I keep in mind having enjoyable instructing them the Wabash and doing it at dwelling and at video games with them. To see that custom go away can be very, very unhappy.”

Sanders stated he believes it is very important honor the historical past of the Wabash by carrying on the custom and refraining from yelling expletives.

“Not solely do I’ve a private attachment to the Wabash, but it surely’s a really conventional and thrilling tune,” Sanders stated. “When Nichols gymnasium burned down in 1968 and it was the one piece of music the band director had in his briefcase, that’s what the band needed to play on the subsequent basketball sport.”

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The historical past behind the Wabash Cannonball will not be the one motive college students love the custom. Paige Fleming, senior in human assets, stated she loves the tune as a result of it brings the coed physique collectively.

“It’s an enormous sense of unity amongst college students,” Fleming stated. “We come from all these completely different locations. We’re all in these completely different courses and every part, however I really feel like after we’re at these video games and we get to expertise this one tune, it’s one thing that all of us take pleasure in.”

Fleming stated she hopes college students acknowledge the hurt they’re inflicting by chanting profanities through the tune.

“Simply since you really feel a sure approach in the direction of this otherwise you wish to take these sure actions and do the issues they’re asking us to not do doesn’t provide the proper to strip us all the alternative to be collaborating on this lengthy custom,” Fleming stated.

Many college students hope to maintain the Wabash by encouraging their friends to cease chanting about KU, Fleming being considered one of them.

“I simply hope that all of us take the required steps to maintain it from disappearing,” Fleming stated.

Taylor Poitier, a junior in communications and an offensive lineman for Okay-State, stated he couldn’t consider the custom was really in jeopardy.

“I heard about it on Twitter,” Poitier stated. “I didn’t assume it was actually actual simply because that’s the college’s fundamental tune for each sport.”

Poitier stated he thinks the administration ought to converse with the coed physique and provides them an opportunity to alter their habits to avoid wasting the tune.

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“I really feel like they need to talk with the scholars extra,” Poitier stated. “They’re simply going to take it away with out even giving an answer to repair the issue.”

Moreover, Poitier stated he thinks the mantra might be encouraging for the crew.

“I really feel like there’s worse issues stated in individuals’s chants,” Poitier stated. “For us it implies that everyone’s into it and everyone’s rocking with us, in my perspective of it.”

Some college students, like Alec Schlote, senior in structure, consider it will likely be tough to get the coed part to abstain from the derogatory chanting. 

“I imply, it’s one thing that you may’t actually cease,” Schlote stated. “The scholars, they chant different obscenities. It’s simply how it’s. It’s onerous to essentially regulate something that goes on and eliminating considered one of our most iconic songs for any motive will not be one thing they need to contemplate.”

Media, comparable to Bartsool Sports activities, has taken sides since controversy arose surrounding the Wabash Cannonball, however Diazdeleon stated he is aware of college students will take this in stride and make some modifications. 

“I do assume that our scholar part is getting loads of unhealthy press,” Diazdeleon stated. “Nevertheless, I don’t assume that we now have a nasty scholar part. I feel that we now have one of the best children within the nation going to our faculty. That’s why we’re going to come back out of this higher. That’s why we’re going to be higher, we’re going to problem ourselves to get out of this.” 

Eliminating the mantra through the Wabash Cannonball doesn’t imply college students received’t be capable to act on their rivalry with KU, Sanders stated.

“Reserve the detrimental remarks for the KU video games,” Sanders stated.

Poitier echoed.

“Wait until KU,” Poitier stated.