College football is officially back, and that means controversy will rule our lives for the next few months. That got off to a pretty interesting start following the Week Zero game between the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes, too.
After the game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, the University of Florida band was walking to the bus when a female Miami fan tried to cut through. Marching band director Jay Watkins, like any leader would, “went out to try to stop this person and when he did, somebody else grabbed him behind in a chokehold and threw him on the pavement,” according to UF spokesman Steve Orlando, via the Orlando Sentinel.
Seriously. This actually happened after the football game, one that the University of Florida won 24-20 in its season-opener. A band director was attacked and injured Saturday night because he tried to stop fans from the University of Miami from cutting through the band.
Watkins is going to be just fine. He had some bumps and scrapes on his head and elbow, got some attention from a paramedic and got on the bus back to Gainesville. He even declined to press charges with the Orlando Police Department, according to the newspaper.
OPD Lt. Wanda Miglio said there was “no description of the person who grabbed him given.”
In other words, nobody snitched, including the Florida band director.
“We certainly feel terrible about this happening to [Watkins] but his first concern was about the students’ safety.”
— UF Spokesman Steve Orlando
Luckily, no Gator band members were hurt, according to police. One woman was upset and had a bloody nose, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
We all knew the Florida-Miami game was going to be intense. Little did we know Florida’s band director, Dr. Jay Watkins, was going to get attacked by a Hurricanes fan, though.
That’s the type of season that’s ahead of us. Buckle up.